About the book
Witness to a Changing World is the life story of David Dunlop Newsom, a Foreign Service officer who rose through the ranks from third secretary and vice consul in Karachi in 1948 to the top career post of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the Carter administration. Along the way he served as Lyndon Johnson’s ambassador to Libya, Richard Nixon’s Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs and ambassador to Indonesia, and Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to the Philippines.
Throughout his eventful career, Newsom often served in countries such as Iraq and Libya that had just seen or were about to experience cataclysmic ruptures. His years heading the Africa Bureau revealed his sympathetic open-mindedness toward the people and countries of the continent.
“Between 1978, when I returned to Washington, and 1981 when I retired, I was to witness and participate in intense diplomatic activity that accelerated significant changes in the world’s political landscape, stimulated by decolonization and revolutions in Egypt, Iran, and Libya. . . . Politics, diplomacy, protocol, and power come together dramatically on the seventh floor of the State Department, where I held the position of Under Secretary for Political Affairs.
This is a book in the ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series.
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“At a time when the practice of diplomacy is returning to a more respectable place in the conduct of America’s foreign relations, Newsom’s book–informed by personal records and historical research and enlivened by flashes of humor–contributes to a clearer understanding of a worldwide transition in diplomacy from the rigidities of Cold War relationships to today’s globally rooted, messier issues.”
–Brandon Grove, President Emeritus, American Academy of Diplomacy