Page 69 - Foreign Service Journal - May 2013

This is a SEO version of Foreign Service Journal - May 2013. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »
MAY 2013
better if frewalled of from those with
other priorities. An independent cultural
agency along the lines of Britain’s British
Council or Germany’s Goethe Institute
would be insulated from political tides
and would also always be its highest
Cull ends by observing that “Amer-
ica’s public diplomats in the feld
were able to make a diference to the
outworking of U.S. foreign policy. Much
excellent work is still done today and
will be done tomorrow, but how much
more could be done if today’s public
diplomats were blessed with the sort of
stable structure, energetic leadership
and adequate budgets available in 1988
when Charles Z. Wick presided over an
empire of communication called USIA.”
Speaking of budgetary matters,
there is no getting around the fact that
at $85, this hardcover “library” edition
is expensive. But anyone interested in
a scholarly, well-written, extensively
researched history of USIA will fnd
it worth the investment. And let us
hope that a more afordable paperback
edition will soon be forthcoming (as
occurred with the frst volume) so that
this important book receives the widest
circulation possible.
Allen C. Hansen, a 32-year Foreign Service
veteran of the U.S. Information Agency,
is the author of
USIA: Public Diplomacy
in the Computer Age
(Praeger, 1989) and
Nine Lives: A Foreign Service Odyssey
(New Academia, 2007).
The story of USIA’s
demise will already be
painfully familiar to
many readers. But it is
well worth recalling.