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American Statecraft: The Story of the U.S. Foreign Service

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  31 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
This magisterial work on American diplomacy by a veteran journalist and historian is the first complete history of the U.S. Foreign Service

American Statecraft is a fascinating and comprehensive look at the unsung men and women of the U.S. Foreign Service whose dedication and sacrifices have been a crucial part of our history for over two centuries. Fifteen years in the mak
Hardcover, 944 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Travis Starnes
Dec 07, 2013 Travis Starnes rated it really liked it
After a brief intro Moskin starts at the beginning of the service during the Revolutionary war and makes his way forward, hitting all of the major and a couple of minor points along its history. He examines the agencies leaders and key players in its developments as well as notable events that in some way helped shape the service into what it is.

It should be clear that this is a pro-foreign service book. As with most books that in some way examine part of our government, Moskin has a point of vi
Mar 21, 2014 Aisling rated it really liked it
I'm not sure it has ever taken me longer to finish a book--all 944 pages--but I was fascinated by most of them. To say this book is comprehensive is putting it mildly. Moskin's unbelievably detailed research is a thing of joy and he manages to write in a pleasant and easy style. This is a must read for anyone who loves American history or is interested in the Foreign Service. My only complaint was the last 15 or so pages when he glossed over recent history (including Benghazi) in an attempt to b ...more
May 22, 2016 James rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
A written account (it's more anecdotes than history) of America's diplomatic corps. An interesting idea, but perhaps too unwieldy to be practical. In fact, unwieldy is a good word to describe American Statecraft. There is some fascinating material here, but, overall, I was distracted by the lack of focus, absence of analysis, and what appears to be some hasty editing.

First, there are absolutely fascinating depictions of American diplomats at work throughout American history. The American Revolut
Nicholas Aune
Aug 21, 2016 Nicholas Aune rated it really liked it
THE BIG BOOK OF AMERICAN DIPLOMATIC HISTORY. This book examines everything. Politics at home, America's rocky start with France and Pirates, the development, deterioration and rebirth of American diplomacy. Every treaty, Every gaff. Every big dog and spoils system diplomat. Their all featured in an engrossing and colorful narrative. A must have for any political or history junkie.
P.e. lolo
Aug 27, 2014 P.e. lolo rated it really liked it
This is a book that takes a look at our foreign service from the revolution thru Benghazi. He goes starts off mainly with the idea that our foreign service at one time was very strong for the type of people that were selected to their posts. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, to name just a few. Then once after the revolution you had Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State and then John Quincy Adams who went to school in Europe and spoke different langue’s become an ambassador. The ...more
A. Lieberson
Nov 14, 2013 A. Lieberson rated it really liked it
Robert Moskin writes a well-documented, detailed history of the U.S. Foreign Service chronicled from its inception in 1781 through 2012. While it was originally known as the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs, once the Constitution was ratified, the U.S. Department of State was formed. Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary of State.
Moskin takes us through the evolution of the department over the next 200 years. The book is well organized into three parts with a substantial bibliography. Each
Richard Fox
May 08, 2014 Richard Fox rated it liked it
This books is a remarkable view of America's history in terms of our engagement with the world. It is worth noting that this book is called a story rather than a history. Unlike conventional history, This narrative follows something of a spiraling time line, tangentially pursuing specific themes, such a growing professionalism, diversity, etc, as the overall story unfolds. I found this books fascinating both for the overall story as well as the numerous vignettes highlight the adventures and fre ...more
Lisa B.
I have always been fascinated by the men and women who are willing to serve in the U. S. Foreign Service. Mr. Moskin has provided the reader a finely detailed and informative book on this very topic. I found this to be educational and sometimes humorous. To have made a book of this size come across as very readable was no small task, and yet the author handle it quite well.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, via Nethalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.
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