Eye on the World

A Life in International Service

John Spencer

The biography of one of America's highly-esteemed former diplomats, Ambassador Anthony 'Tony' C. E. Quainton, and his long and storied career in eleven countries on six continents across uniquely varied top posts.
Publication date:
July 2022
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781640124035

Dimensions : 225 X 152 mm
Available for pre-order


• Esteemed former US Diplomat, Ambassador Quainton, reflects on stories from a career spanning uniquely varied posts in eleven countries on six continents
• Discusses the making and implementation of US policy on various high-visibility foreign policy issues of the late 20th century: the Indo-Pakistan crisis of 1971-72; the Iran-Iraq war in 1985-87; Central American policy in the early 1980s; and the War on Drugs in the Andes in the early 1990s
• Offers a unique perspective of the Kissinger Commission's activities in Nicaragua and its failure to create a dialogue with the Sandinista regime
• Quainton served under no fewer than five presidents (Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton), offering him a distinct vantage point to reflect on changes in policy and politics
• Both entertaining and eye-opening, it spans Quainton's life from his upbringing in North America, through an ever-expanding global horizon, to 20 years after his retirement

Eye on the World is the biography of diplomat Anthony C. E. Quainton, and his stories from a long and varied life lived in eleven countries on six continents. Rather than a formal history, this is Quainton's reflection on his interactions with the events of those times, beginning with George VI's historic visit to North America in 1939, through the years of the Cold War, the efforts to contain and then defeat the Soviet Union, and finally the two decades of uneasy peace that came after the fall of the Berlin Wall. To some of these events Quainton was merely a spectator, but in other areas - India, Nicaragua, Kuwait, and Peru - he was actively involved either as a participant in the policy process in Washington or as the senior representative of the United States in those countries.

Spanning his upbringing and education through two decades after his retirement, Quainton describes the expanding horizons of a middle-class boy from the northwest corner of North America as he encountered the complexity of the world in which he spent his professional life. Quainton served in seven different presidential appointments under presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. These included four ambassadorships in distinct parts of the world and three assistant secretary-level posts in Washington. This range of geographic and functional assignments was unique in his generation of Foreign Service officers.