Blog · Posted January 12, 2023
On Thurs 2nd March Catherine Ashton visited Mainstreet to talk about her fascinating memoir, And Then What? Inside Stories of 21st-Century Diplomacy.
So much of modern-day diplomacy still takes place behind closed doors, away from cameras and prying eyes. But what does this vital role really look like in today’s world? From 2009 to 2014, Catherine Ashton was the EU’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security. Arriving in Brussels with no significant experience of international diplomacy, she faced the challenge of representing the views and values of 28 nations during one of the most turbulent periods in living memory.
From Russia’s invasion of Crimea to the Iran nuclear negotiations, she led the EU’s response, charting a path towards collaboration and stability. She encountered dictators and war criminals, and witnessed the aftermath of natural disasters, military action and political instability. Now for the first time she takes us behind the scenes…
‘Fascinating and illuminating reading […] this book is truly remarkable history.’
– Lord (George) Robertson, Former Secretary General, NATO
‘A riveting, absorbing account of modern diplomacy by one of the greatest international diplomats of recent times.
And Then What? is hugely informative, full of tremendous insights, and a truly great read!’
– General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.), former Commander of the Surge in Iraq,
US Central Command, and NATO/US Forces in Afghanistan, and former Director of the CIA
‘[Ashton] combines acute analysis with moving portraits of the many people she engaged with…
A must for students of politics and a treat for lovers of general non-fiction.’
– Misha Glenny, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, and author of McMafia
‘Brilliant – suspenseful and dramatic. I read it in a day.’
– Ken Follett