Tales from the Embassy. The Extraordinary World of C. Van H. Engert


Cornelius Engert once joked that the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire was excellent preparation for the Foreign Service—and a global career shuttling “from one calamity to another.”

From Constantinople to Tehran, Beirut to Kabul, Engert became a valued political reporter and one of the State Department’s top experts on the Middle East. But Engert was also a lavish entertainer and storyteller whose vague and contradictory manner concealed a mysterious past. Starting out as a Russian called Adolph living in Hungary, Engert masqueraded as the son of an Englishwoman, married into a prominent San Francisco family, and mingled with the elite and influential in foreign capitals worldwide.

Here, through dozens of personal letters, memoranda and news accounts, the author takes us on a remarkable journey in time with this fascinating diplomat—her grandfather. Jane Morrison Engert attended Wellesley and Yale, and lives and writes in Oregon.


Jane M. Engert 

2006, 5½x8½, paper, index, 286 pp.

ISBN: 9780788442964