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