Mr. Ambassador: Warrior for Peace

Front Cover
University of Oklahoma Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 560 pages
0 Reviews

“Apartheid South Africa was on fire around me.”

So begins the memoir of Career Foreign Service Officer Edward J. Perkins, the first black United States ambassador to South Africa. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan gave him the unparalleled assignment: dismantle apartheid without violence.

As he fulfilled that assignment, Perkins was scourged by the American press, despised by the Afrikaner government, hissed at by white South African citizens, and initially boycotted by black South African revolutionaries, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu. His advice to President-elect George H. W. Bush helped modify American policy and hasten the release of Nelson Mandela and others from prison.

Perkins’s up-by-your-bootstraps life took him from a cotton farm in segregated Louisiana to the white elite Foreign Service, where he became the first black officer to ascend to the top position of director general.

This is the story of how one man turned the page of history.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Young Warrior
Japan Land of the Rising Sun
The Few The Proud
Taiwan the Beautiful Island
Education and Eisenhowers Little War
Let Them Know I Am Here
Tightening the Screws
The Long Struggle for Peace
South Africa
Changing the Foreign Service
The United Nations
Down Under and Beyond

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Edward J. Perkins , now retired as a U.S. Ambassador, is William J. Crowe Professor of Geopolitics and Executive Director of the International Programs Center at the University of Oklahoma.

Award-winning journalist Connie Cronley is the author of two previous collections of essays, Sometimes a Wheel Falls Off and Light and Variable: A Year of Celebrations, Holidays, Recipes, and Emily Dickinson, and the collaborating author of Mr. Ambassador: Warrior for Peace, a memoir by Edward J. Perkins.

George P. Shultz is former Secretary of State of the United States.

A Rhodes Scholar, David Boren is President of the University of Oklahoma. A former governor of Oklahoma, he served as U.S. Senator from Oklahoma from 1979 to 1994 and chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1987 to 1993.

Bibliographic information