The Case for the Reviving American Diplomacy

This course is based on former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns’ just-published memoir, The Back Channel. Secretary Burns’s brilliant 38-year Foreign Service career ended with a three-year stint as Deputy Secretary of State. Two collapses – those of the Soviet Union and of the US-Russia relationship – are historical bookends for “up close and personal” accounts of the reordering of Europe; the failure of the Camp David accords between Israel and Palestine, the start of the post-9/11 era, the rise and fall of the Arab Spring and of the Iran nuclear deal, and the eruption of the Trump era. The book concludes with a clear-eyed presentation of the case for reviving American diplomacy. MSC

Required Book: William Burns, The Back Channel, ISBN 978-0525508861. Additional readings will be provided.

Charles Dunbar served for 32 years in the State Department, including as Ambassador in Qatar and then in Yemen, oversaw a UN peace operation, was president of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, taught at Simmons University and Boston University, and now teaches at the Midcoast Senior College.

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