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Madeleine Albright Had Her Diplomatic Message Pinned Down

As secretary of state, Madeleine Albright could use carrots and sticks to further the US foreign policy agenda. But as the first woman to serve as top diplomat, Albright also used broaches to get what she wanted! In her new book, Read My Pins, Albright explains how her jewelry box turned out to be one of her greatest arsenals.

Albright discovered the power of the pin back when she was the US ambassador to the UN. After the Iraqi government called her an "unparalleled serpent," Albright decided to make a fashion diplomatic statement by wearing a snake pin the next time she met Iraqi officials.

In the description for her book, we get a taste of how broaches went on to become Albright's signature as secretary of state.

International leaders were pleased to see her with a shimmering sun on her jacket or a cheerful ladybug; less so with a crab or a menacing wasp. Albright used pins to emphasize the importance of a negotiation, signify high hopes, protest the absence of progress, and show pride in representing America, among other purposes.

NYC's Museum of Arts and Design is also showcasing more than 200 of her pins and the stories behind them. Are you impressed that Madeleine Albright used jewelry as a diplomatic weapon?


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