The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

30 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL along with four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired in 2021 and lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Forging the Nation: Land Struggles in Myanmar’s Transition Period SiuSue Mark, University of Hawai‘i Press, 2023, $28.00/paperback, e-book available, 248 pages. A military coup in Myanmar in February 2021 brought the country’s young democracy to a quick end, as the junta imprisoned the political opposition and deployed lethal force to stop dissent. But the coup’s leaders underestimated the degree to which ordinary citizens would fight back through civil disobedience and strikes. In Forging the Nation, USAID Foreign Service Officer SiuSue Mark explains the role land ownership played in this struggle for power. Because Myanmar is an agriculture-based economy, land is “the ideal lens” through which to view the country’s political development in recent decades. Mark examines the connection between Myanmar’s democratic transition, ethnic politics, and global capital pressures on land to understand the role of land in political and economic transitions. A political economist and development practitioner with two decades of experience across Asia and Latin America, SiuSue Mark joined USAID in January 2022 and is currently posted in Kazakhstan as a democracy and governance officer. Earlier she consulted with the World Bank and the United Nations in the governance of land and natural resources in transition and postconflict settings. From 2008 to early 2019, she lived in Burma/ Myanmar and was involved with its democratic transition. China’s Relations with Africa: A New Era of Strategic Engagement David H. Shinn and Joshua Eisenman, Columbia University Press, 2023, $35.00/paperback, e-book available, 504 pages. China’s rising influence in Africa has prompted a great deal of concern and commentary in recent years. In their latest book-length collaboration, China’s Relations with Africa, retired FSO David Shinn and his co-author Joshua Eisenman cover the topic in detail. Shinn and Eisenman look at the diplomatic tactics China has been using since 2012, when Xi Jinping became president of the People’s Republic of China, to strengthen relations with political and military leaders throughout Africa. The authors detail China’s expansion into the global south through arms sales, port calls, educational exchanges, and space cooperation. They close with a series of predictions about the future of China-Africa relations. During a 37-year career in the Foreign Service, David Shinn served as ambassador to Burkina Faso (1987-1990) and Ethiopia (1996-1999). He also served in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, and Sudan. Shinn teaches African studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University and is a nonresident scholar at the Middle East Institute. Joshua Eisenman is an associate professor of politics at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame and senior fellow in China studies at the American Foreign Policy Council. Shinn and Eisenman also co-authored China and Africa: A Century of Engagement (2012). FICTION Paris Gold: Ten Tales of Treasures Lost and Found Judith Baroody, independently published, 2022, $9.99/paperback, e-book available, 227 pages. In the introduction to her second collection of stories, Paris Gold: Ten Tales of Treasures Lost and Found, retired FSO Judith Baroody confesses that they are all “based in some way on real events or people.” Many of the stories are set in places Baroody and her spouse were posted or visited, including Cyprus, Russia, Morocco, and Northern Virginia. Perhaps most memorably she tells of an art collector hiding from the mob, an American tourist who helps her Russian tour guide defect to the United States, and a town transformed when one of their own buys a winning lottery ticket but then refuses to come forward. Judith Baroody started her career as a television reporter in Norfolk, Virginia, before joining the Foreign Service. As a public diplomacy officer from 1984 to 2011, she served in Damascus, Tel Aviv, Casablanca, Nicosia, Santiago, and Baghdad, with a final overseas posting as minister counselor for public affairs in Paris. She served on the editorial board of The Foreign Service