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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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nancita nancita 7 years
Wow, I love this story! It's a great example of a woman in power using her femininity to do something that men can't, and it also humanizes her as someone with a creative personality.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I think it's brilliant! Love it!
sham28 sham28 7 years
I read this- Someone asked her why she wore the serpent pin and she smiled and said "because Saddam Hussein called me a snake." LOVE it.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
Calimie said it perfectly. how brilliant and chic of her, and how interesting that all the other world leaders knew what her statements meant, or at least looked to her brooches to help figure her out!
pinkpolkadots88 pinkpolkadots88 7 years
I once had dinner one table a way from her at the plaza(back when it was still a hotel).... so cool! She was very put together and pretty.
Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
That's so cool! :)
Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
That's so cool! :)
Calimie Calimie 7 years
She's all kinds of great.
Calimie Calimie 7 years
She's all kinds of great.
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