THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
learn so much. Even for a Foreign Ser-
vice kid, there is nothing like having the
world’s nations together in one place and
getting to sample each one’s offerings.
The Olympics and the World Cup
do it for sports, but the expo does it for
people, business, history and culture—
and this year, food.
Thanks to Mr. Asada and the
for the historical overview and the
recommendations on what support
Washington might give to the next major
expo: Dubai 2020.
Kristin M. Kane
The U.S. Presence
at Expo 2015I found Matthew Asada’s October article very interesting. As a citizen o
the current host country, Italy, I concur
with his description of the importance of
the American presence at such world’s
fairs. I was surprised to learn that their
political value is underestimated, if not
disregarded, in Washington.
Such an event has political implica-
tions, starting with the bid for hosting it.
Even though the Cold War and the need
for a “kitchen debate” are history, cur-
rent international tensions demand U.S.
attendance in settings that promote cul-
tural encounters and offer occasions for
soft power displays and dissemination.
Moreover, U.S. participation cannot
depend on private funding, as this would
undoubtedly affect content choices.
Exhibitions are expressions of
national identities: educational
institutions, nonprofit organizations and
the government should all have a say.
This doesn’t mean that corporations are
not shaping national and international
culture, but government should go
some way to delegitimize their overt
intervention in political matters.
I have to confess that I found the
U.S. pavilion in Milan somewhat
underwhelming. The landscape design
of the vertical farm was not adequately
explained, and the menu rotation of the
food trucks was hard to follow.
Some countries excelled in
elegance—for example, the Azerbaijani
pavilion with its amazing glass spheres,
which cost less than most other exhibits.
Others explored the expo’s main
theme, sustainable and responsible
(food) development. The beehive-
inspired British and farm-inspired
Belgian pavilions, for example,
showcased advancement in food
research and future prospects for
Since beauty, originality and
inventiveness were the elements
attracting visitors, I wish the USA had
done more. I hope it won’t miss the next
chance to shine.
Former AFSA Intern (2000)
Assistant Professor of English, Tuscia
What Really Happened
Thereview of my book
of an Agent for Change in International
Development: My Flight Path into the
) in your October issue is
fair, except for one item: your reviewer’s
take on the 1953 “coup” to oust Iranian
Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.
Maria Livingston quotes one of my
statements (p. 61 of my book), then
dismisses it as “second guessing” and
counter to the revealed truth. But she
ignores my subsequent citation (p. 75)
of Ray Takeyh’s July 2014
article and his conclusions.