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Talking to Strangers
Author: Monteagle Stearns

ISBN: 9780691007458
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 17 December 1998
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.3
Description:


In this discerning book, Monteagle Stearns, a former career diplomat and ambassador, argues that U.S. foreign policymakers do not need a new doctrine, as some commentators have suggested, but rather a new attitude toward international affairs and, most especially, new ways of learning from the Foreign Service. True, the word "strangers" in his title refers to foreigners. However, it also refers to American foreign policymakers and American diplomats, whose failure to "speak each other's language" deprives American foreign policy of realism and coherence. In a world where regions have become more important than blocs, and ethnic and transnational problems more important than superpower rivalries, American foreign policy must be better informed if it is to be more effective. The insights required will come not from summit meetings or television specials but from the firsthand observations of trained Foreign Service officers.

Stearns has not written an apologia for the American Foreign Service, however. Indeed, his criticism of many of its weaknesses is biting. Ranging from a description of Benjamin Franklin's mission to France to an ...

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