The Foreign Service Journal - November 2017

34 NOVEMBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Getting Through: The Pleasures and Perils of Cross-Cultural Communication Roger Kreuz and Richard Roberts, MIT Press, 2017, $27.95/hardcover, $15.39/ Kindle, 304 pages. We can learn to speak other languages, but do we truly understand what we are saying? How much detail should we offer when someone asks how we are? How close should we stand to our conversational partners? Being able to communicate depends on both culture and con- text. In Getting Through , Roger Kreuz and Richard Roberts draw on psychology, linguistics and sociology, as well as personal experience, to develop their guide to understanding and being understood in different cultures. Kreuz and Roberts help us navigate such subtleties as how to apologize in a foreign country, or how to greet strangers. They argue that their study of cross-cultural communication isn’t purely academic: The more we understand one another, the bet- ter we communicate, and the better we communicate, the more we can avoid conflict. FSO Richard Roberts has served in Niger, Japan, South Korea and Mongolia, and is proficient in Japanese, German and Portu- guese. Before joining the Foreign Service he taught psychology on the campuses of the University of Maryland University Col- lege in Europe and Asia. Roger Kreuz, who has taught for more than 25 years, is professor of psychology and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Memphis. The two also co-authored Becoming Fluent: How Cognitive Science Can Help Adults Learn a Foreign Language (MIT Press, 2015). The Rise of Africa’s Small & Medium-Size Enterprises: Spurring Development & Growing the Middle Class Robin Renee Sanders, XLibris, 2017, $34.99/hardcover, $23.99/paperback, $3.99/Kindle, 546 pages. Robin Renee Sanders’ book, a volume in the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training’s Memoirs and Occasional Papers series, is an insightful examination of a recent, dramatic shift in the development paradigm for sub- Saharan Africa, in which growth is being driven by the region’s youth and small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Sanders introduces readers to some members of Africa’s Generation X and millennial cohort who are among the thou- sands of entrepreneurs inventing new apps and coming up with new approaches to the continent’s age-old poverty issues. The author includes vignettes from her diplomatic career and subse- quent work with the FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative; walks readers through what donors, foundations and African stock markets are doing today to help small and medium-sized enterprises; and concludes with recommendations for further steps to assist those at the “fragile” end of Africa’s middle class. Robin Renee Sanders, a retired Senior Foreign Service officer, held numerous postings throughout Africa during her career, which culminated with ambassadorships in the Republic of Congo (2002-2005) and Nigeria (2007-2009). Ambassador Sanders is the founder and CEO of the FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative. FEEEDS—food security, education, envi- ronment/energy, economics, democracy/development and self-help—works with underserved communities and groups to raise awareness of these challenges and advocate measures to address them. Morning in South Africa John Campbell, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016, $29.95/hardcover, $15.37/Kindle, 244 pages. John Campbell’s newest book takes an in- depth look at post-apartheid South Africa, where a long history of racism and white supremacy continues to resonate today. Under current President Jacob Zuma, South Africa is merely treading water, and some in South Africa have attempted to undermine the 1994 political settlement characterized by human rights guarantees and the rule of law. Nevertheless, Campbell argues, the country’s future remains bright, and its democratic institutions will survive the current political situa- tion. Campbell examines the presidential inaugurations of Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma and Mandela’s funeral, using these events to illustrate the ways South Africa has changed in the last two decades. He also writes of the continuing consequences of apartheid and explains education, health and current political developments, including land reform, with an eye on how South Africa’s democracy is responding to associated challenges. The book ends with Campbell’s assessment of why closer South African ties with the West are unlikely and his assertion that members of the black majority in South Africa are no longer strangers in their own country.