Ambassador Finger provides an insider's view of significant events in American diplomacy since World War II. Also included are insightful appraisals of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Bush, Lodge, Stevenson, and Goldberg. He goes on to portray dramatic changes in the American Foreign Service which has become a merit service of outstanding men and women of varied ethnic backgrounds, chosen from all parts of the country on the basis of highly competitive entrance examinations.
Finger also dispels the canard that a diplomat is someone sent abroad to lie for his country. He argues that, on the contrary, a reputation for integrity is essential for effective diplomacy. This is particularly true at the United Nations. Finger spent 15 years there and relates from experience salient situations where diplomatic skill, effective advocacy, and the cultivation of friendship and trust have contributed to the maintenance of peace and the establishment of significant development programs. He further demonstrates how permanent representatives who were close to the president were able to have crucial influence on major American policies. This insightful guide to contemporary American foreign policy and the workings of both the Foreign Service and the United Nations will be of interest to scholars and students of American diplomacy as well as candidates for the Foreign Service.
About the Author:
SEYMOUR M. FINGER is Senior Fellow, Ralph Bunche Institute on the United Nations and President of the Institution on Mediterranean Affairs. He is Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and New York University, Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the College of Staten Island. He served for 26 years as a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, rising through the ranks to become an American Ambassador at the UN, where he had a major role in the establishment of the UN Development Program and the World Food Program. Ambassador Finger published seven earlier books, including Bending with the Winds: Kurt Waldheim and the United Nations (Praeger, 1990).