The Foreign Service Journal, December 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2023 95 In the Nation’s Service deftly weaves in descriptions of Shultz’s leadership and management style. As a pragmatist, he did not want to debate principles but wanted to solve problems. His cardinal rule: “Trust is the coin of the realm.” He worked hard to build rapport and consensus. He placed a priority on policy planning, carving out space in his schedule to think about “the big picture” and organizing “Saturday-morning seminars … with government and academic experts.” After exiting the State Department, Shultz remained in perpetual motion. Taubman’s prior book, The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb (2012), chronicled Shultz’s participation in a coordinated campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. He also spoke out about the risks posed by climate change. In 2020, at age 99, he wrote an article in the FSJ titled “On Trust,” which called for a renewed emphasis on diplomacy. He died the next year, a centenarian. Shultz was a vigorous supporter of the Foreign Service. He relied on its topnotch talent while at Foggy Bottom, and In the Nation’s Service is replete with references to the many career luminaries he worked with. Taubman, in fact, extensively uses a journal kept by Raymond Seitz, Shultz’s first executive assistant, to document the initial period of his time at the State Department. It’s worth noting that Taubman’s claim that Shultz has not been accorded the respect he deserves manifestly does not apply to the foreign affairs community, where he collected many accolades. In recognition of his legacy of service, for example, the National Foreign Affairs Training Center was renamed in his honor in 2002, and the American Foreign Service Association awarded him its Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award in 2003. Outstanding biographies of former Secretaries of State include Walter Isaacson’s on Kissinger (1992), James Chace’s on Dean Acheson (1998), and Peter Baker and Susan Glasser’s on James Baker (2020). In the Nation’s Service joins this exclusive list. Anyone seeking a riveting account of how diplomacy can affect the arc of history need look no further than Taubman’s gem of a biography. Joseph L. Novak is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London and a retiree member of the American Foreign Service Association. A former lawyer, he was a Foreign Service officer for 30 years. Diplomacy as a Lab Experiment Delegated Diplomacy: How Ambassadors Establish Trust in International Relations David Lindsey, Columbia University Press, 2023, $35.00/paperback, e-book available, 376 pages. Reviewed by Dennis Coleman Jett Delegated Diplomacy is an interesting book, but not for the reasons one might think. It provides almost no useful information about how diplomats function, but it does offer some insights into how academics operate. Anyone who has been in the Foreign Service for more than a week will not learn anything about diplomacy from this book. But they are not the intended audience. The author, David Lindsey, teaches at Baruch College. Professors don’t write books for general audiences or for practitioners. They write two types of books. The first type widely covers the basics of an academic discipline. The hope is the tome will be adopted as required reading for courses on the subject, forcing students to buy obscenely overpriced books put out by academic publishers. The second type is written to impress other academics, since the opinion of their peers determines whether professors advance and secure tenure. These books require grand theories and sufficient number crunching, formulas, and jargon to make them incomprehensible to anyone besides other specialists in the field. The approach for the second type stems from a desire to make social science as data driven and conforming to general rules as the physical sciences. The problem is that with human interactions—as opposed to, say, an electron colliding with an atom—it is impossible to accurately measure the variables that come into play or even be aware of them all. The result of attempting to reduce diplomacy to something akin to a lab experiment is a book like Delegated Diplomacy. Lindsey describes the practice of diplomacy like an anthropologist would explain some exotic, distant culture. He looks for evidence to provide data to explain the intricacies of diplomacy, but the information used cannot really be interpreted in that way. Despite a prodigious effort, the book therefore arrives at conclusions that lie somewhere between obvious and doubtful. For instance, Lindsey examines the volumes of the State Department publication Foreign Relations of the United