Nation: Sir Ronald's Well-Sharpened Portraits

IN the diplomat's trade, euphemism is the rule and waspish apothegms a rarity. The late Sir Ronald Lindsay, British Ambassador to Washington from 1930 through 1939, turns out to have been one of those uncommon envoys with a sharply pointed pencil. He was a career diplomat, the fifth son of an earl; he was first married to the daughter of a U.S. Senator, and after her death wed another American. In his last Washington years, he worked to strengthen Anglo-American ties as World War II approached.

Almost 2,000 volumes of once confidential government papers were made public in London last week under...

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