George Dempsey served as a US diplomat in Madrid, Vienna, The Hague, Venezuela and Dublin. It was in Dublin where, as First Secretary for Political Affairs, he experienced the "overtly-expressed contempt" in which United States foreign policy is widely held in Ireland. In From the Embassy Dempsey argues strongly on a case-by-case basis that his country's foreign policy has been, and remains, based on sound moral and political principles. It is not the United States but its critics who have questions to answer about the correct response to enemies of democracy and freedom. In particular, he argues, it is Ireland's political, academic and media elites who have allowed an outdated and unhelpful left-wing fixation with the United States to destroy the integrity of their own country's foreign policy debate. Drawing on his experience in UN-sponsored negotiations between the West and the developing world and negotiations between the Communist Bloc and the West, Dempsey places Ireland in the context of relationships between the developed and developing world and between the European Union and the United States.
He makes a compelling case for the important role Ireland can play in international affairs, but only if Irish media and opinion-makers can refrain from their "prevailing view that denigrates and condemns and even vilifies American foreign policy" and make a more constructive contribution to the debate. From the Embassy is a passionate and robust defence of US foreign policy as well as a devastating attack on prevailing Irish misconceptions about the use of American power in an increasingly dangerous world.