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Breaking ProtocolAmerica's First Female Ambassadors, 1933-1964$
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Philip Nash

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178394

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178394.001.0001

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Clare Boothe Luce

Clare Boothe Luce

Italy, 1953–1956

(p.132) 6 Clare Boothe Luce
Breaking Protocol

Philip Nash

University Press of Kentucky

The ambassadorship of Clare Boothe Luce (Italy, 1953–1956) is the focus of this chapter. Editor, playwright, journalist, congresswoman, and, later, pundit, Luce was one of the most accomplished American women of the twentieth century. Marrying publishing mogul Henry R. Luce in 1935, Luce formed half of a highly influential Republican power couple. President Dwight D. Eisenhower named Luce ambassador to Italy in 1953, making her the first woman envoy to a major US ally. Known for her rapier wit, Luce was a controversial hire. In early Cold War Italy, shestruggled mightily against the Italian Left, with limited success. But she played a key role in helping resolve the dispute over Trieste, and with her combination of intelligence, diligence, and access to the president, Luce proved an effective ambassador. Her bizarre appointment and immediate withdrawal as ambassador to Brazil in 1959 is also discussed.

Keywords:   Clare Boothe Luce, Henry R. Luce, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Italy, Brazil, Cold War, Trieste

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