The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

34 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Ice War Diplomat: Hockey Meets Cold War Politics at the 1972 Summit Series Gary J. Smith, Douglas & McIntyre, 2022, $26.95/paperback, e-book available, 336 pages. A first-tour Canadian diplomat in Moscow in 1972, Gary Smith was tasked with supporting the CanadianSoviet hockey series, one that was in danger of falling apart due to political differences between Canada and the Soviets. In this compelling memoir, he tells the story of how he came to join his country’s Foreign Service after a childhood mostly spent in small Canadian towns, where he first developed both his interest in international affairs and his love of hockey. Smith’s experience taking the Canadian Foreign Service entrance exams—both written and oral, like the entrance exams into the U.S. Foreign Service—and the lengthy wait he endured to find out if he’d be offered a job will sound familiar to U.S. diplomats. Soviet and Russia scholars will find his descriptions of serving in 1970s Moscow fascinating. And hockey fans will appreciate his descriptions of the behind-the-scenes bickering over referees and the minute-by-minute accounts of the actual matches—eight games in all were scheduled, and it took a nailbiting final match on the ice in Moscow to determine the victor. Before retiring in 1998, Gary Smith served as Canadian ambassador to Indonesia. After retirement, he worked as executive consultant for the film “Ice-Breaker.” He currently lives in Perth, Ontario. For former AFSA President Eric Rubin’s review of Ice War Diplomat, see the May 2023 FSJ. Getting Out of Saigon: How a 27-Year-Old American Banker Saved 113 Vietnamese Civilians Ralph White, Simon and Schuster, 2023, $28.99/hardcover, e-book available, 320 pages. In early 1975, Ralph White was a 27-year-old bank manager at the Saigon branch of Chase Manhattan Bank. He’d transferred there at the behest of his boss, who tasked him with closing the branch if it appeared that Saigon was in danger of falling to the North Vietnamese army. When White arrived in Saigon, senior managers warned him that the city was about to fall and urged him to evacuate the entire staff, plus all their family members. White wasn’t sure what he was allowed to do, but he knew what the right thing to do was. He tells readers exactly how he did it in Getting Out of Saigon. White talked about the experience in a conversation with writer D.Z. Stone that appeared in the July-August 2023 FSJ. Asked if he considers himself a hero, Stone reports, White flinched and said: “The heroes were the Foreign Service officers who defied U.S. policy and their delusional ambassador, risking their careers and their own lives to evacuate thousands of at-risk Vietnamese who had worked for Americans.” Ralph White spent the majority of his career in the finance industry, working with several banks in Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and New York City. After retirement, he turned to writing. In 2009 White founded the Columbia Fiction Foundry, a creative writing workshop for alumni of Columbia University, where he earned his MBA. Remaking the World: Decolonization and the Cold War Jessica M. Chapman, The University Press of Kentucky, 2023, $30.00/ paperback, e-book available, 316 pages. For most people, the Cold War calls to mind images of Soviet weaponry or the Berlin Wall. But in Remaking the World, historian Jessica Chapman looks not at the nuclear arms race of the Cold War era but at the connection between the Cold War and decolonization across the globe between 1945 and 1965. During those two decades, more than 50 nations declared independence from their colonizers. Chapman begins where World War I ends, with the collapse or weakening of numerous powerful empires that had thrown their armies into the war. She then looks closely at events that bubbled up in the aftermath of that war in six separate countries: India, Egypt, the Congo, Vietnam, Angola, and Iran, explaining how shifting policies in the United States, the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba influenced their fight to decolonize. Finally, she examines the role of the United Nations and regional actors, as well as policy changes in the post–Vietnam War era. Jessica Chapman is a professor of history at Williams College and the author of Cauldron of Resistance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and 1950s Southern Vietnam (2013).