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The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal

The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal
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Book Details
Name of the Book:The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal
ISBN-10 / ISBN-13 0525508864, 9780525508861
Authors / Editors: William J. Burns
Page Count:187
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From America’s “secret diplomatic weapon” (The Atlantic), comes a memoir of service for five Presidents and ten Secretaries of State, an impassioned argument for renewing diplomacy as the tool of first resort in American statecraft.

Ambassador William J. Burns is the most distinguished and admired American diplomat of his generation. Over the course of four decades, he played a central role in the most consequential diplomatic episodes of his time–from the bloodless end of the Cold War to post-Cold War relations with Putin’s Russia, from post-9/11 tumult in the Middle East to the secret nuclear talks with Iran. Upon his retirement, Secretary John Kerry said Burns belonged on “the short list of American diplomatic legends, alongside George Kennan.”

InThe Back Channel,Burns recounts with vivid detail and incisive analysis some of the seminal moments of his career. He draws on a trove of newly declassified cables and memos to give readers a rare, inside look at American diplomacy in action. His dispatches from war-torn Chechnya and Qadhafi’s camp in the deserts of Libya and his searing memos warning of the “Perfect Storm” unleashed by the Iraq War will reshape our understanding of history and the policy debates of the future. Burns sketches the contours of effective American leadership in a world that resembles neither the zero-sum Cold War contest of his early years as a diplomat, nor the “unipolar moment” of American primacy that followed. Ultimately,The Back Channelis an eloquent, deeply informed, and timely story of a life spent in service of American interests abroad, as well as a powerful reminder, in a time of great turmoil, of the importance of diplomacy.

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