Although he bares his knuckles in rather ungentlemanly fashion to make plain to the general public the faults and failures...

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ANATOMY OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT

Although he bares his knuckles in rather ungentlemanly fashion to make plain to the general public the faults and failures of that organization with which he was long associated, Smith Simpson's dissection of the beast at Foggy Bottom falls short of the radical critique of our policy-making machinery that is so sorely needed. We learn about the various desks, offices and bureaus of the Department of State, at home and abroad, about its inadequate training system and its love for the safe at the expense of the meaningful; about the encroachments the military and various other federal agencies have made on foreign affairs; about the gap of understanding between State and the Congress, between State and the Executive Branch (resulting in the birth of the C.I.A.), between State and the American people; about the faulty mechanics in lieu of its absentee leadership, always off on policy missions instead of home keeping house. And perhaps it is true that the lack of a chief manager, not subject to political appointment or legislative whim, is the key to current and past malfunctioning. None of this matters as long as the basic assumptions and beliefs go uninspected. In that light, Simpson's dry tone and flat presentation seem to suit his pragmatic vision.

Pub Date: April 24, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1966