The Foreign Service Journal - November 2015
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Bring On the Books!



Shawn Dorman is the editor of

The Foreign Service Journal.

Featured in Talking Points are two new

films about diplomacy premiering this

month. “America’s Diplomats” is a docu-

mentary from the Foreign Policy Associa-


“The Diplomat

,” looks at the life and

work of Richard Holbrooke through the

lens of his eldest son, documentary film-

maker David Holbrooke.

The cover story this month is from our

Icelandic-American colleague, Ásgeir

Sigfússon, who offers an overview of

Arctic policy and how the United States is

“Getting into the Game


I also call your attention to the FS Her-

itage article, “Taking Stock of Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes,” written by

FSO father-son teamMaxwell Hamilton

and John Maxwell Hamilton. This is a fas-

cinating story of a lesser-known Secretary

of State in the early 1920s. Sec. Hughes

was a strong proponent of State Depart-

ment reform and the development of a

professional Foreign Service.

At the time, the diplomatic career was

open only to the wealthy few who could

pay their own way overseas. Hughes

strongly supported—and argued before

Congress in favor of—the reforms devel-

oped by career FSO Assistant Secretary

of State Wilbur Carr and codified in the

Rogers Act of 1924. The act established

the Foreign Service we know today,

merging the diplomatic and consular

branches of the State Department, set-

ting a uniform pay scale and granting

representation allowances and retire-

ment benefits that eliminated the need

for private incomes.


he leaves are turning in Wash-

ington, the air is crisp, so it

must be time for the annual

roundup of books by Foreign

Service authors,

“InTheir Own Write,

and books

“Of Related Interest”


authors outside the Foreign Service.

We have a great collection for you this

year, including 56 books by authors from

the Foreign Service community. You will

find books on a vast array of topics both

related and unrelated to diplomacy—

Latin American rebels in the 1800s, a

“short history” of evolution, Greek urban

warriors, African strongmen, climate

change. You’ll find more than a dozen

memoirs, from Christopher Hill, George

Glass, Deane Hinton and others.

This year, we received more fiction

submissions than ever before: We feature

23 books of fiction by Foreign Service

authors. There are cooking books, chil-

dren’s books, and how-to books. In addi-

tion, we introduce a special bibliography of USAID authors, courtesy of retired

USAID FSO John Pielemeier.

Join us in celebration of the writing

accomplishments of your friends and col-

leagues, and find inspiration there for your

own writing and publishing endeavors.

We invite our Washington-area read-

ers to stop by AFSA headquarters on

Nov. 19, between 1 and 4 p.m., for the

Second Annual AFSA

Book Market featuring

more than 20 Foreign

Service authors and

their published works.