Unquiet Diplomacy


240 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-55263-706-9
DDC 327.2'092





Jason Gregory Zorbas is the editor of Saskatchewan History and a
sessional lecturer in the History Department, University of


From 2001 to 2005, Paul Cellucci was the American ambassador to Canada.
His tenure corresponded with a period of strained relations between the
two nations, arguably the worst period since the early 1960s, when Prime
Minister John G. Diefenbaker and President John F. Kennedy failed to see
eye to eye on such issues as Cuba and Bomark Missiles. Unquiet Diplomacy
is Cellucci’s autobiographical account of his time in Canada.

Cellucci liked to practise what he called public as opposed to quiet
diplomacy. When Canada failed to join the American Coalition during the
Second Persian Gulf War and then pulled out of the proposed Missile
Defence shield, Cellucci expressed his disappointment publicly. Canada,
he said, had let the United States down. He likened the two nations to a
family and maintained that Canada had failed to uphold its familial
obligations. Despite these setbacks, Canada and the United States
maintained an excellent relationship and Cellucci recalls the Canadian
response to the September 11th attacks as a high point of that

His account is a very readable inside look at Canadian–American
relations during this period. Personal anecdotes interspersed throughout
the book include Cellucci’s love of hockey (his son-in-law plays for
the Carolina Hurricanes) and the time that Mary Walsh (of This Hour Has
Twenty-Minutes) ambushed him in one of her many on-screen personas and
tried to put a Canadian toque on his head.

The one thing that Unquiet Diplomacy does not contain is any regrets on
Cellucci’s part. As both the American ambassador to Canada and a close
friend of President George W. Bush, he fully supported the latter’s
policies and he reaffirms his support in this book. He also makes no
apologies for his public rebukes to the Canadian government.
“Canadians,” he states, “deserved to know the truth about how the
American government felt.” Though the book contains no shocking
surprises, it is an essential read for any student of
Canadian–American relations in the 21st century.


Cellucci, Paul., “Unquiet Diplomacy,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/15502.