Lawyer, soldier, journalist and playwright, David Gray cuts an unlikely diplomatic figure. Born in Buffalo, New York in 1870, he took up the post of US Minister to Ireland in 1940. His memoir of that year, "Behind the Emerald Curtain", is published here for the first time. Vivid, lyrical, forthright and eviscerating, Gray reveals of life in a privileged milieu amid the darker currents of war, political discord, collaboration and espionage. Diary entries, secret documents, press extracts, letters to Roosevelt, and conversations with his ideological opponent de Valera are knitted together in this intriguing narrative, introduced by Paul Bew.