Pen in hand

Methodology adopted for the research


            As the title indicates, this study refers to writing by career diplomats of the Republic of Italy. We have therefore included all those who have been on diplomatic duty since the proclamation of the Republic ,June 2, 1946.

            For diplomats in service after 1946 we have also considered books published earlier to give a clearer picture of their writing activity.[1]

            We have explored different ways to find out all the titles herein included. One of the most important sources was the Rivista Affari Esteri published every three months since 1969 by the Associazione Italiana per la Politica Estera. This publication has regularly reviewed  books written by diplomats.[2]  In addition, we have conducted research in several libraries, particularly, in the  library of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma.

            Senior colleagues have made a remarkable contribution to our work. Whether through their personal experience or hearsay they were able to provide a great deal of useful information regarding the location of several publications.

            Despite the great efforts to conduct as through a search as possible, in any way this study does not claim to be exhaustive. In some instances it was impossible to find books that had been written under a pen name, that had been published exclusively abroad or in limited editions or, that were unrelated to diplomatic activities. Based on the interest raised by this first edition, we hope to include many other titles in the next edition.  

            Articles published in various magazines and newspapers were not included. It would have been a very difficult task, since their sheer number and range.

            As for the description of the content of the books, in many cases we utilized the introduction or the summary found on the back covers, which explains why some comments might seem outdated.

            We also decided to include anthologies and collections edited by diplomats.

            Specific records have been set up for the non-Italian editions even when they are translations of previously published books.


[1] To determine which diplomats to include, we used the Annuario Diplomatico (Diplomatic Yearbook),  published periodically by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

[2] This magazine has had many illustrious editors-in-chief: Pietro Quaroni (1969-1971), Gastone Guidotti (1972-1978), Roberto Gaja (1978-1992) and Carlo Russo (since 1992). For reviews, we should mention Mr. Fausto Borrelli. In addition to writing articles he is the chief of the book reviews section, and has always shown a particular  attention to works published by diplomats, Italian or foreign.

For further information see also the  Blog dedicated to this research.

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last update 18/12/06 - © Stefano Baldi

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