ANSWER COMING SOON: More blog postings on arts, letters, policy

Dan Whitman
Vellum, 2017
268 Pages, 72 photos
ISBN 978-0-9981477-6-5 Paperback

For BULK ORDERS, order directly from New Academia Publishing.

About the Author

As a Foreign Service officer for the US Information Agency and the Department of State (1985–2009), Dan Whitman served in Denmark, Spain, South Africa, Haiti, and Cameroon, as well as the Africa Bureau in Washington. He also worked as a French teacher, French interpreter, and program officer for USIA’s International Visitors Program, and was a Fulbright scholar in Brazzaville. Whitman is the author of books including Kaïdara (on the African oral tradition); Madrid Inside OutOne Step Up: A Buyer’s Guide to Stringed Instruments; and A Haiti Chronicle: The Undoing of a Latent Democracy.

About the book

A sequel to Blaming No One (NAP 2012), Answer Coming Soon offers more questions than answers. It is a selection of Whitman’s experiences and ventures in the Foreign Service and in arts and letters. The blog postings take up the following themes: personal anecdote, people/profiles, foreign policy from a practitioner’s view, human nature, government functions, and “other” (music, immigration, literature, oral history…).

The collection has humor and social/institutional criticism. All chapters in the book originally appeared online in Punditwire, a public blog disseminated by the School of Communication, American University. The book should serve as an “easy read,” in short segments.  Printed in chronological order of their publication dates, the segments show a cross section of items that got public attention in 2012-2016, and also some that should have but didn’t.  Answer Coming Soon challenges facile suppositions, and notes historic moments of interest for the general reader.


“The stark reality of what happens past the water’s edge is deliciously described with a large dose of humor and an economy of language.  Dan Whitman, cleverly disguised as a respectful public servant, gives credence to the concept that illusion frequently substitutes for reality in the world of diplomacy. Sometimes bluff and boisterous façade conquer the field when the illusion is known to a few. Laughing up your sleeve while toeing the line, according to Whitman, is frequently the best course of action.”
—Daniel Freeman was Counsel to the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs and is currently an Assistant Professor of Public Law at American University.

“Whether reflecting on policy lectures in DC think tanks, or recalling encounters with diplomats, a suspected contract killer, and some of the more clueless medical professionals in the DMV area, Whitman’s witty stories bring the soul into the iron of daily life. The answer may be coming soon, and reading these stories will make the wait much more enjoyable.”
—Katharina Hering, historian and archivist.