Our new format designed to replace our book reviews places more of the choice on you, the Reader. My colleagues and I at American Diplomacy will identify a variety of new books that we believe may interest you. We’ll provide basic information on the books and links to reviews. You will have the choice of whether, or how far, to pursue your interests in the books that follow. This month we feature six new books with links to additional information. From time to time we will feature an original book review or book essay of note as we have done this month. Good reading! And please let us know how you like the new format.
William P. Kiehl, Ed.D.
Contributing Editor, Books
“Expeditionary diplomacy” is a media-friendly term for the State Department’s effort, begun in the second term of the Bush Administration and modified but continued in the Obama Administration, to improve U.S. capacity to respond appropriately and effectively to international conflicts that involve American interests. Its institutional expression in the State Department is the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. One of the Bureau’s first projects was to assist the Government of Senegal, in an initiative to end a 30-year secessionist conflict in the southern part of the country, known as the Casamance. A retired career diplomat and Â former editor of this journal, Ambassador Jim Bullington, was recalled to active duty to implement this engagement.
Expeditionary Diplomacy in Action is a first-hand, insider account of the successful U.S. diplomatic effort to help end this deadly and debilitating conflict. It is not about international relations theory or history, but contemporary nuts-and-bolts diplomatic practice and the day-to-day life of a senior American diplomatic couple in West Africa. It suggests expeditionary diplomacy as a conflict response model that falls between the extremes of trying to act everywhere as a global policeman, and of ignoring small conflicts and letting them fester until they directly threaten important American interests and require much more costly and difficult interventions.
Jim Bullington and his wife, Tuy-Cam recount their professional and personal adventures: building relationships with Senegalese officials and community leaders as well as other diplomats and international experts; participating in meetings with rebel leaders and peace mediators in Rome and Guinea-Bissau; visiting the Casamance to hear from refugees, mine victims, and others most directly affected by the conflict; traveling to The Gambia to urge its mercurial President to cease fueling the insurgency and support the peace initiative; promoting U.S. and international community economic and humanitarian aid for the Casamance; and adjusting to the challenges and opportunities living in West Africa.
Expeditionary Diplomacy in Action should be of particular interest to diplomats and development professionals, academic and other specialists in conflict resolution, and people with personal or professional interest in Senegal or in a Foreign Service career.
As a British colony Americans relied on the far-flung British consular system to take care of their sailors and merchants. But after the Revolution they had to scramble to create an American service. While the U.S. diplomatic establishment was confined by protocol to the major capitals of the world, U.S. consular posts proliferated to most of the major ports where the expanding American merchant marine called. Mostly untrained political appointees, each consul was a lonely individual relying on his native wits to provide adequate help to distressed Americans, mainly seamen.
As consular appointments were often used as a reward for authors and other talented people, the U.S. Consular Service boasted such worthies as Nathanial Hawthorne, James Fennimore Cooper, Bret Harte, William Dean Howells, the cartoonist Thomas Nast, the grandfather of Winston Churchill, and Fiorello LaGuardia, later mayor of New York. Consuls have played an important role in relations between countries since ancient times.
American consuls played significant roles in the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I and its aftermath. The book ends in 1924 when the Consular Service was joined with the Diplomatic Service to become the Foreign Service of the United States.
Charles Stuart Kennedy was a consular officer for many years and brings an insider’s appreciation of the work of these unsung American officials. After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1985, he founded and continues to direct the Foreign Affairs Oral History Program, which has placed over 1900 oral history transcripts of retired American diplomats on the website of ADST and 1750 on the Library of Congress website.
The Routledge Handbook of Latin American Security identifies the key contemporary topics of research and debate, taking into account that the study of Latin America’s comparative and international politics has undergone dramatic changes since the end of the Cold War, the return of democracy and the re-legitimization and re-armament of the military against the background of low-level uses of force short of war.
Latin America’s security issues have become an important topic in international relations and Latin American studies.
This Handbook sets a rigorous agenda for future research and is organized into five key parts:
The Evolution of Security in Latin America
Theoretical Approaches to Security in Latin America
Contemporary Regional Security Challenges
Latin America and Contemporary International Security Challenges
With a focus on contemporary challenges and the failures of regional institutions to eliminate the threat of the use of force among Latin Americans, this Handbook will be of great interest to students of Latin American politics, security studies, war and conflict studies and International Relations in general.
When four-star general John Rogers Galvin retired from the US Army after forty-four years of distinguished service in 1992, the Washington Post hailed him as a man “without peer among living generals.” In Fighting the Cold War: A Soldier’s Memoir, the celebrated soldier, scholar, and statesman recounts his active participation in more than sixty years of international historyâ€”from the onset of World War II through the fall of the Berlin Wall and the postâ€“Cold War era.
Galvin’s illustrious tenure included the rare opportunity to lead two different Department of Defense unified commands: United States Southern Command in Panama from 1985 to 1987 and United States European Command from 1987 to 1992. In his memoir, he recounts fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes about his interactions with world leaders, describing encounters such as his experience of watching President JosÃ© NapoleÃ³n Duarte argue eloquently against US intervention in El Salvador; a private conversation with Pope John Paul II in which the pontiff spoke to him about what it means to be a man of peace; and his discussion with General William Westmoreland about soldiers’ conduct in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia. In addition, Galvin recalls his complex negotiations with a number of often-difficult foreign heads of state, including Manuel Noriega, Augusto Pinochet, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Ratko MladiÄ‡.
As NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during the tumultuous five years that ended the Cold War, Galvin played a key role in shaping a new era. Fighting the Cold War illuminates his leadership and service as one of America’s premier soldier-statesmen, revealing him to be not only a brilliant strategist and consummate diplomat but also a gifted historian and writer who taught and mentored generations of students.
General John R. Galvin, USA (Ret.), was dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
The U.S. Foreign Service and the American Foreign Service Association were born together in 1924. In this first-ever book about the association’s more than 90-year history, author Harry Kopp chronicles the evolution of the Foreign Service and the events and personalities that shaped AFSA into what it is today.
Published by Foreign Service Books, The Voice of the Foreign Service combines an institutional history of America’s diplomatic service from its earliest days to the present, with the twinned story of the American Foreign Service Association and its transformation from a benevolent society to an independent professional organization and exclusive employee representative of all members of the Foreign Service.
The Voice of the Foreign Service takes readers through the early history of diplomacy, from Benjamin Franklin to the Rogers Act of 1924 and the Foreign Service Acts of 1946 and 1980, following the evolution of the Foreign Service and the association through the 20th century and into the 21st.
Concentrating on the formative years of the Cold War from 1943 to 1957, Patryk Babiracki reveals little-known Soviet efforts to build a postwar East European empire through culture. Babiracki argues that the Soviets involved in foreign cultural outreach tried to use “soft power” in order to galvanize broad support for the postwar order in the emerging Soviet bloc.
Populated with compelling characters ranging from artists, writers, journalists, and scientists to party and government functionaries, this work illuminates the behind-the-scenes schemes of the Stalinist international propaganda machine. Based on exhaustive research in Russian and Polish archives, Babiracki’s study is the first in any language to examine the two-way interactions between Soviet and Polish propagandists and to evaluate their attempts at cultural cooperation. Babiracki shows that the Stalinist system ultimately undermined Soviet efforts to secure popular legitimacy abroad through persuasive propaganda. He also highlights the limitations and contradictions of Soviet international cultural outreach, which help explain why the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe crumbled so easily after less than a half-century of existence.
Patryk Babiracki is assistant professor in Russian and East European history at the University of Texas at Arlington and a Volkswagen–Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Zentrum fÃ¼r Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam.