The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2023 23 OAS and later served as acting secretary general (2004-2005). He is also the author of Beyond Cuba: Latin America Takes Charge of Its Future (1974) and other works. My Two Centuries in Africa (Book One): Epic Fights, Long Flights, Mosquito Bites Carl William Henn, independently published, 2023, $24.99/paperback, e-book available, 200 pages. As a child in Indiana, Carl William Henn longed to do something exciting. He got his chance in 1981, when he joined the Peace Corps and moved to Morocco. He fell in love with Africa and ended up spending most of his career on the continent, working primarily as a public health specialist. The first volume of a two-part memoir, this book covers 1980 to 2000, and the second covers the 21st century. Henn briefly recounts his childhood before moving on to his tour in Marrakesh, where the Peace Corps assigned him to work at a home for boys whose bodies were ravaged by polio. From there, after a stint in the U.S. with his new Moroccan wife, he joined a nonprofit in Burkina Faso. The author’s conversational style draws the reader in as he details slaughtering sheep after converting to Islam for his wife, letting his young children sit on a crocodile in Burkina Faso, and working to destigmatize HIV-AIDS in West Africa. In the process, he offers his unique and insightful views on varioius experiences in Africa. After facing a devastating personal loss, Henn joined USAID and returned to Africa, first to Zimbabwe. He was then assigned to Zambia from 2004 to 2010 to work on HIV-AIDS prevention and treatment, as well as drought relief and refugee feeding, and later served in Burundi, from 2018 to 2019. A Professional Foreigner: Life in Diplomacy Edward Marks, Potomac Books, 2023, $34.95/hardcover, e-book available, 304 pages. Edward Marks spent 40 years in the Foreign Service, serving primarily in Africa and Asia from 1959 to 2001, including assignments as ambassador to GuineaBissau and Cabo Verde. He admits that during his long career, he “always seemed to be at the opposite end of the [African] continent from the hottest developments,” but no matter—even his most mundane recollections are compelling in the retelling. In A Professional Foreigner, Marks describes life as an American diplomat in a mostly bygone era. He writes about his accidental discovery of and application into the Foreign Service as a Jewish college student from Detroit, talks about getting into trouble at a Georgetown bar one night during A-100, and gives just enough details about life in the Service back then to keep present-day FS members riveted. (Fun fact: Corridor reputation was important even a half century ago.) Yet he also manages to explain what diplomacy is, going back to the start of the Foreign Service in a way that will bring in the newbies without boring those who have been around awhile. Marks shares what it was like to be a participant on the fringes of some of the century’s biggest historical moments: he was at U.N. headquarters in New York when the Cold War ended, and he served in Africa during the decolonization era. But he also includes a tale of rescuing an American citizen from a “house of ill repute” in Mexico and writes of buying and restoring an old Jaguar sedan in Sri Lanka. A former FSJ Editorial Board member and chair, Ambassador Marks contributes to various periodicals and is the author of Complex Emergencies: Bureaucratic Arrangements in the U.N. Secretariat (1996) and co-author of U.S. Government Counterterrorism: A Guide to Who Does What (2012) and U.S. Counterterrorism: From Nixon to Trump—Key Challenges, Issues, and Responses (2017). He writes, speaks, and consults widely, mostly with the Department of Defense. Memoirs from Overseas and Back Carol Mathia, Proteus Press, 2023, $9.99/e-book, 789 pages. Carol Mathia started writing Memoirs from Overseas and Back as one chapter in the book Let Your Light Shine, a collection of stories about female educators who were born before 1950. Mathia quickly realized that her life as a Foreign Service spouse had given her enough material to fill an entire book. Memoirs from Overseas and Back starts with Mathia’s childhood as a twin sister from a working-class Catholic family in Indiana before pivoting to college—which included a year abroad in Spain—and marriage to Bob Mathia, who became a USAID