Ice War Diplomat: Hockey Meets Cold War Politics at the 1972 Summit Series

Douglas & McIntyre. Sept. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781771623179. pap. $26.95. SPORTS
Former ambassador Smith has elegantly assembled an honest and uplifting sports history that represents a rare insider view of the diplomacy process and its successes and failures during the Cold War. In 1972, a team of Canadian hockey players and a team of the then USSR hockey players were assembled to play an epic eight-game series titled the Summit Series. Created to build better international relationships between the two countries, it was ultimately successful. Now, it is often remembered fondly as the beginning of a grand historical bond between the two nations. Just prior to this series, Smith began his 30-year career as a Canadian diplomat, receiving his first assignment at his country’s embassy in Moscow, Russia. Among other duties, he was given the awesome task of working to make the series a reality.
VERDICT Readers, especially history and hockey fans, will be mesmerized by this account and will come away with a clearer understanding of the numerous intricate details that are involved in successful diplomacy and how they affect historical events. Highly recommended.
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