THE ART OF DIPLOMACY
Strengthening the Canada-U.S. Relationship in Times of Uncertainty
By Bruce Heyman and Vicki Heyman
288 pp. Simon & Schuster. 2019.
The Art of Diplomacy is a memoir by Bruce Heyman, the former U.S. Ambassador to Canada (2014–2017), and his wife, Vicki, of their experiences across "the longest border of peace on earth" (Barack Obama, address to the Canadian Parliament, 2016; 238). Full disclosure: In the mid-nineties, the Heymans commissioned me to research and write their family history (Enduring Legacies, 1998), and then, shortly before Bruce's appointment, to amplify my research on the family branch that had immigrated to Canada in 1910 and 1911 (1 Family, 1 Border, 100 Years, 2013). Forebears' voices are ever present as the couple arrives in Ottawa and puts down roots. Vicki plants a vegetable garden and builds an apiary at Lornado, the official residence. With her chief of staff, Vicki establishes Contemporary Conversations, a series of discussions with American artists (Theaster Gates, Kiki Smith et al.) at the National Gallery of Canada. Bruce attends to policy matters, including the Keystone XL pipeline proposal and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, encourages trade, and protects American interests—guided by Canada's and America's shared, "core values [of] respect and cooperation" (Justin Trudeau, U.S. state dinner, 2016; 190). Bruce and Vicki travel widely to meet and listen to and forge friendships with fisherman in Halifax and restauranteurs in Toronto, Inuit elders and Supreme Court Justice Rosie Abella, and three generations of Trudeaus, among countless others. Following the election of Donald Trump and back in America, in 2017, Bruce and Vicki participate in their first protest: the Women's March. The Heymans never lose sight of from whence they came nor how high we can climb as a collective, a hive. The Art of Diplomacy is authentic, loving, inclusive, inspiring, and most of all, optimistic. May they continue their path as citizen ambassadors of the enduring legacy of tikkun olam (repairing the world). —Lisa Thaler, 30 May 2019