The Foreign Service Journal, November 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2020 37 China and the World David Shambaugh, ed., Oxford University Press, 2020, $27.95/ paperback, e-book available, 416 pages. In China and the World , David Sham- baugh, one of the world’s leading China specialists, has assembled 15 international scholars and diplomatic practitioners—including, most notably, retired Ambassador Chas W. Freeman Jr., who discusses “China’s National Experiences and the Evolution of PRC Grand Strategy”—to cre- ate a comprehensive assessment of Beijing’s foreign relations and role in international affairs. The book explores the sources of China’s grand strategy, describes how the past shapes the present and assesses the impact of domestic factors that shape China’s external behavior. This uniquely focused and well-organized volume offers many insights into Beijing’s calculations and behavior, as well as identifying a variety of challenges it will face in the future. Chas W. Freeman Jr., a retired Foreign Service officer and former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, is a visiting scholar at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. The principal American interpreter during President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, he served as director for Chinese affairs at the State Department (1979-1981) and deputy chief of mission and chargé in Beijing (1981-1984). David Shambaugh is the Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science and International Affairs, and the founding director of the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. An active public intellectual and frequent commentator in the international media, he has published more than 30 books. The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age Elizabeth Shackelford, PublicAffairs, 2020, $17.99/paperback, e-book available, 304 pages. In late 2017, Foreign Service Officer Elizabeth Shackelford delivered her resignation letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. But, as retired FSO Edmund McWilliams states in his review of this book ( FSJ , October), “ The Dissent Channel is much more than a cri de coeur targeting the Trump administration. In the book, Shackelford reveals the full tragedy of South Sudan.” The author documents the tragedy of South Sudan as she witnessed it during her 2013 posting in Juba and as she struggled to set it right with, among other things, a dissent channel message in 2015. Well into 2017, nothing had changed. Born in hope in 2011, South Sudan was plunged into civil war two years later. Determined not to preside over the dissolution of the new nation, whose creation was viewed as a great achievement for Washington, the Obama administration refused to pressure the authoritarian Kiir government despite its corruption and the atrocities it committed against its own people and international personnel. Elizabeth Shackelford, a Foreign Service officer from 2010 to 2017, served in Poland, South Sudan, Somalia and Washington, D.C. For her work in South Sudan during the outbreak of civil war, she received the Barbara M. Watson Award for Consular Excellence, the State Department’s highest honor for consular work. Now an independent consultant, she focuses on human rights advocacy, conflict mitigation, political affairs and democratic processes. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Rochester, Vermont. Decolonizing Mission Partnerships: Evolving Collaboration between United Methodists in North Katanga and the United States of America Taylor Walters Denyer, Wipf and Stock, 2020, $42/paperback, e-book available, 364 pages. The legacies of colonialism, racism and trauma affect the ability of religious missions to work together abroad. Using extensive sources and research material, Taylor Walters Denyer examines how these factors apply to the partnership between American Methodists and Congolese United Method- ists in the North Katanga Conference. Methodism has existed in the Congo for decades, mainly through partnerships between American missionaries and evangelists in Katanga province. These collaborations evolved from a more colonial mission model to a nominal partnership, but the relationship experienced its most significant changes within the past 20 years. As widespread violence swept the Congo in the 1990s foreign missionaries left the country. Local Katangan leaders stepped into the resulting leadership void.