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The Public Diplomacy Reader

Recorded on September 20, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In his new book The Public Diplomacy Reader, J. Michael Waller goes from ancient Athens to the American Founding to the Reagan Administration to show that strategic communication can be most successful when it is integrated with psychological strategy, a culture of strategic influence, and political courage.  The Founding Fathers understood that to defeat the world's mightiest empire they had to get into the minds of the decision-makers and the public abroad and to animate and motivate the people at home for a long, protracted war.  The United States regained that understanding during World War II and parts of the Cold War, but has yet to recover from the unilateral political disarmament of the early 1990s.  Our public diplomacy leaders now flail for a strategy without really knowing what a global political strategy is.  They seem fearful of the strategic influence culture, hobbled by political correctness, and lacking in knowledge of precedents to guide them.  The Public Diplomacy Reader is intended to help fill in that knowledge void in its 500 pages of essays, letters, speeches and documents.