A new online collection of interviews with some of the most prominent diplomats of the 20th century is now available from the Library of Congress's American Memory Web site:  < >.

"Frontline Diplomacy: The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training" < > presents a window into the lives of American diplomats. Transcripts of interviews with U.S. diplomatic personnel capture their experiences, motivations, critiques, personal analyses and private thoughts. These elements are crucial to understanding the full story of the creation of a structure of stable relationships that maintained world peace and protected U.S. interests and values.

Most of the interviews in the collection come from foreign service officers, but there also are some with political appointees and other officials. While some 1920s-, 1930s-, and World War II-era diplomacy is covered, most of the interviews involve post-World War II diplomacy, from the late 1940s to the 1990s.

This collection captures the post-World War II period in vivid terms and intimate detail, documenting the way U.S. diplomacy defended the United States and its interests in a challenging world. The narratives span the major diplomatic crises and issues that faced the United States during the second half of the 20th century and, as new interviews are added, will include developments in the 21st century. The 1,301 transcripts of oral history interviews were donated by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, a private, nonprofit organization.

The collection includes extensive personal recollections from luminaries of American 20th century diplomatic history, including Alfred "Roy" Atherton (ambassador to Egypt), Zbigniew Brzezinski (national security adviser under President Carter), Frank Carlucci (ambassador to Portugal under Presidents Nixon and Ford; also served as secretary of defense under President Reagan), Julia Child (spouse of foreign service officer Paul Cushing Child), Lawrence Eagleburger (secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush), Averell Harriman (ambassador to the Soviet Union and England under President Franklin Roosevelt), Jeane Kirkpatrick (ambassador to the United Nations), Winston Lord (played a critical role in opening relations with China under President Nixon), Clare Boothe Luce (ambassador to Italy under President Eisenhower), Douglas MacArthur II (nephew of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and ambassador to Japan, Belgium, Austria and Iran), Charles H. Percy (senator from Illinois), Rozanne Ridgway (ambassador to Finland and East Germany), Dean Rusk (secretary of state under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson), John S. Service (foreign service officer specializing in China before World War II), Cyrus Vance (secretary of state under President Carter) and Marion Post Wolcott (photographer, married to USAID official Lee Wolcott).

The full text of the official press release is available at: < >.

For further information please contact the Library's Manuscript Division: 
< >.


Laura Gottesman
Digital Reference Team
The Library of Congress
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