The Foreign Service Journal - June 2014 - page 10

JUNE 2014
ing the impact of department outreach
is as important to the powers that be as
the volume of such outreach, the ques-
tions Mr. Silverman asks will continue to
be relevant.
William J. Millman
FSO, retired
Kyiv, Ukraine
An Unvarnished Look
It was great to see that
The Foreign
Service Journal
will remain in good
hands after the transition to a new edi-
is one of the few maga-
zines that I read almost cover-to-cover,
because I welcome its unvarnished look
at developments and its willingness to
examine received wisdom. For example,
I appreciated Robert Silverman’s Presi-
dent’s Views column on social media in
the March issue.
Robert E. Patterson
Embassy Ashgabat
Telling Our Stories
Congratulations to the new
editor, Shawn Dorman, for the fascinat-
ing March issue, and to Managing Editor
Susan Maitra for her masterful editing of
the oral histories selected to represent
six decades (
I was particularly gratified to see the
excerpt from Constance Harvey, repre-
senting the 1940s. Selections from her
oral history also appear in my book,
Excellency, An Oral History of Women
(Twayne, 1994).
Although Ms. Harvey was not an
ambassador, she did achieve the rank of
consul general. She and Frances Willis
were the only two female FSOs through-
out most of the 1930s, and Harvey pro-
vides a unique perspective on what the
old Foreign Service was like. With about
800 officers, it was a small enough fra-
ternity that everybody knew everybody,
and officers in Europe would telephone
each other to offer birthday greetings.
Ms. Harvey’s entire oral history
merits reading because, in addition to
her “nefarious life,” she recounts being
interned at Vichy after the Nazis took
over the unoccupied region of south-
ern France. The remarkable ways the
diplomats devised to occupy their time
during the endless days of detention
speak volumes to the mettle of these
brave individuals.
Equally interesting were the many
obstacles she encountered as a woman
attempting to carve out a career in a
man’s world. She would be astounded,
but I think gratified, that of the six oral
history excerpts you selected, three are
by women.
Years ago she generously set aside
an entire weekend for me to record her
memories and was enthusiastic, wry and
witty, not afraid to tell it like it was. She
even gave me a photograph of herself
receiving the Medal of Freedom, now in
my archive at the Sophia Smith Collec-
tion at Smith College, Northampton,
The archive includes taped oral histo-
ries of female ambassadors, their family
members and friends, as well as reflec-
tions by those who either served with
them or were their superiors. You can
find them at
ssc (the Ann Miller Morin Collection).
The director is Sherrill Redmon.
Ann Miller Morin
ADST Fellow (ret.)
Women Ambassadors Project
Charlotte, N.C.
Inspired to Publish
I always love the
annual edi-
tion that highlights and promotes books
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,...96
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