Citizen Diplomats: Pathfinders in Soviet-American Relations - and how You Can Join Them
Gale WarnerMichael Shuman
Publishers Weekly
It's one thing to tour the Soviet Union, and quite another to become a ``citizen diplomat,'' who deliberately tries to improve Soviet-American relations through people-to-people dialogues, explain the authors. They describe the efforts of nine diverse Americans to break stereotypic ``us and them'' thinking, spread information and influence leaders on both sides of the Cold War. These unofficial diplomats range from writer Norman Cousins and businessman Armand Hammer to lawyer-biker Christopher Senie (who organized ``Bike for Peace'') and agrarian banker John Chrystal. The authors (Warner is a journalist, Shuman is president of the Center for Innovative Diplomacy in California) explore the rewards, difficulties and controversy associated with such work, and offer a rundown of resources and agencies. Photos not seen by PW. Major ad/promo; first serial to Parade; author tour. (March 31)
Library Journal
Central to the mission of ``citizen diplomats'' is a belief that the ``best defense against nuclear war may well be a strong, complex, and durable web of relationships between peoples of the Soviet Union and the United States.'' This book offers a sympathetic account of nine such ``citizen diplomats,'' from Armand Hammar and Norman Cousins to the late Samantha Smith. The well-written but uncritical stories depict the obstacles confronting individual diplomacy. Rising interest in transnational activity extends the book's appeal. However, the work begs the question of whether ``citizen diplomats'' have had lasting impact on Soviet-American relations. The appendixes survey most channels of private Soviet-American exchange. Recommended for larger libraries. Zachary T. Irwin, Humanities & Social Sciences Div., Behrend Coll., Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie


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