January 19, 2006 Former Ambassador to Italy Richard Gardner to Discuss Book on Italy on Feb. 14

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Richard N. Gardner, who served as U.S. ambassador to Italy from 1977 to 1981, will discuss his book “Mission Italy: On the Front Line of the Cold War” at the Library of Congress at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Dining Room A on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

A book signing will follow the presentation, which is part of the Books & Beyond author series sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Library’s European Division is co-sponsoring the event. The program is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Gardner’s memoir of his years in Italy offers insights into the foreign policy of the Carter administration and into a critical turning point in Italy’s history. Events during this turbulent period included the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro, the failed attempt of the Italian Communist Party to take power, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the seizure of American hostages in Tehran. It also was the time of Italy’s historic decision to deploy U.S. cruise missiles.

The book has been widely praised by diplomats and historians. In the foreword, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Carter, called it a “scrupulously honest” volume, rich in anecdotes and revealing details that “can serve as a guidebook for students of diplomacy and aspiring diplomats.” Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., called it “an enthralling story and a significant contribution to the history of the Cold War."

Gardner is professor of law and international organization at Columbia Law School at Columbia University and senior counsel at Morgan Lewis, a global law firm. His previous books include “Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy” (1956) and “In Pursuit of World Order” (1964).


PR 06-021
ISSN 0731-3527