Baroness Kennedy, Q.C., Chair of the British Council, wrote to Michael Halsted in 1998 on hearing of his forthcoming book:
"Still too little is known about the British Council. We need to tell the British Council story as often as possible. So many people have no idea of the wonderful work which is done in their name."
This book is an account of Halsted's fascinating experiences working for the British Council, in Hungary, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Burma, Fiji, Guyana and Morocco.
Michael Halsted's WWII experiences fighting in North Africa were chronicled in his earlier book Shots in the Sand . Saved from death at the Battle of Gazala, he served on the British Army staff in Washington D.C. in 1944.
This book continues the story. After a spell teaching at his old school, Bradfield College, Berkshire (where he formed a Junior Commando Unit), Halsted began a career with the British Council.
Some Readers' Views
From a former Consul-General:
"I have just bought and read your book Round the World in Forty Years - A British Council Life and so enjoyed it I thought I'd drop you a line.
From a Swedish Medical Research consultant:
"I found your writing very entertaining and moving, as I realise the debt I personally owe to people like you, that is the friendly, approachable and fun people of the British Council. I have met you in Stockholm, in Oslo, in St Andrews, even recognised some of the names of your colleagues in Rangoon, who later in their career moved to Sweden. Your readers will also recognise the great gift you have to record everyday events and to transform them later in life into a kaleidoscope of colourful experiences..."
From the Anglican Bishop in Iran, 1961-1990
"My wife and I read this book with great interest, especially the part about Iran. It brought back many memories.
From a BBC friend:
"I am reading Round the World... with great pleasure, and admiration. Your recall is amazing, your powers of description compelling, and your style most engaging.
ISBN 1 899955 37 2. Price £20.00 (incl. p&p in UK), Cased: 600 pages, with 120 monochromes in four sixteen-page sections, on coated art paper. A handsome hard-back with artist designed dust cover in four colours. Date of publication: 9 Dec 99
How to orderThe book is available from Amazon.co.uk
And from Square One Publications, The Tudor House, 16 Church Street,
Upton on Severn, Worcs, WR8 0HT
And from Upton Office Services, 18 Riverside Close, Upton on Severn, Worcs,
On British Council Service, the author says, it was a privilege and reward to live abroad in a recognised position, in fascinating countries, from two to four years at a time. He writes of what each country meant to him and his wife; describing town and country scenes, history and culture, friends, local and expatriate, travels on and off duty, and the fun.
At Council Centres he found congenial colleagues, and admirable back-up from London departments. There were opportunities to meet first-class specialists from Britain: and have funds to arrange for local professional people to visit Britain as Scholars or Visitors.
There were Centre Activities to administer: a much used Library, an English Teaching Institute, and including the recruitment of qualified teachers of English: the showing of British films, the setting up of Book or Art exhibitions, the handling of Drama Groups, or Lectures by professional or literary figures, and also concerts by British musicians.
Above all giving support to visiting British ELT specialists, to teach teachers to teach teachers to teach - English: the best method of promoting our world language.
The British Council proposes to place a full, illustrated edition in its niche in the Public Record Office at Kew.