How to Become an Ambassador


Must read 🏆

One man shares the ups and downs of a life in Foreign Affairs for the United States.

How to Become an Ambassador is part tongue-in-cheek how-to, and part memoir of Tom Armbruster's career with the Foreign Service for the United States. With an original childhood, part of which spent as a nanny (or "manny") in the U.S.S.R, Armbruster started out with an interesting life and a desire to travel and see the world. He and his wife even spent their honeymoon on a Yugoslavian ship going all the way to Casablanca. For those who love to travel themselves, or are interested in a peek at the world of what the Foreign Service actually does for the United States, this book is a fabulous introduction. Armbruster's answers are a fabulous blend of comedic and honest, keeping the book from becoming too dark or dragging.

This reviewer found herself laughing out loud at the advice of his friend, where he told him to abandon his Hawaiian shirt and pick up a white shirt, black suit and a "non-offensive tie." As someone absolutely fascinated by Russia and neighboring countries during the Soviet Union era, this book is even more intriguing, even when Armbruster is simply discussing daily life in one of these countries, or time in what was at that time known as Leningrad.

From time in Helsinki, to filling a plane load of rescue supplies for Cuba, to learning how to get information from local people and teach them that Americans aren't the "two-headed monster" they may have heard about from their government, Armbruster discusses the ups and downs of a career and its impacts on both himself and his family. The text is a quick read and an enjoyable way to spend sometime dreaming of travel despite many of us being stuck at home for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Reviewed by

Currently, I am the Editor in Chief of We are a blog publication that focuses on the female and non-binary perspectives of the fandom world. We focus on graphic novels, literature, television, film, and whatever strikes our fancy. I am also a contract reviewer with


About the author

Ambassador Armbruster served in the Marshall Islands 2012-2016. Other posts include Russia, Tajikistan, Mexico, Cuba and Finland. Prior to the Foreign Service Armbruster was a journalist in Hawaii. He is the only American diplomat to arrive in the Soviet Union by kayak. view profile

Published on October 22, 2020

Published by BookBaby

70000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Travel

Reviewed by