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From Foggy Bottom to Capitol Hill

Back to Memoirs and Occasional Papers

From Foggy Bottom to Capitol Hill: Exploits of a GI, Diplomat, and Congressional Aide

“While at first blush it may appear that this book was written by someone unable to hold a job for long, that proves not to be the case. Or more precisely put, Chips Chester’s hegira from the military to the Foreign Service to congressional staffs has left him with many good stories to tell. And they are tales with much humor, substantial insight into our diplomatic and political systems, and a graceful writing style. I knew the author best as a very good FSO; now I know him, as well, as a fine writer.”

Lawrence Eagleburger, former Secretary of State and Ambassador to Yugoslavia

John Chapman “Chips” Chester offers up an often whimsical but highly informative memoir of an active life in international affairs. His exploits cover U.S. Army service in occupied Germany; a career in the U.S. Foreign Service in Germany, Croatia, Malawi, and the State Department; and a second career on Capitol Hill as a foreign affairs specialist, first for an outspoken liberal Republican representative and then, serving both parties, for the House Foreign Affairs (aka International Relations) Committee. Chips Chester’s book, like his life, is a buoyant mix of diplomacy, congressional politics, and high good humor.


“Chips Chester has written a lively, humorous, and highly readable account of what really goes on behind the diplomatic and congressional scenes. As one who shared the author’s experience in Yugoslavia and also served both in Foggy Bottom and on Capitol Hill, I can personally confirm that this book accurately and perceptively depicts life in all three places.”
James G. Lowenstein, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Luxembourg