BLAMING NO ONE: Blog postings on arts, letters, policy

Dan Whitman
Vellum, 2012
256 Pages, 82 photos
ISBN 978-0-9855698-6-0 Paperback
ISBN 978-0-9860216-7-1 e-Book
Price: $26.00 Paperback
$9.99 e-Book

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About the Author

As a Foreign Service officer for the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) 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 four books: Kaidara, (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. He currently teaches Foreign Policy at American University, plays viola in the American University Symphony Orchestra, and writes essays for

About the book

This book is a series of reflections at the point of retirement from the U.S. Foreign Service. The postings, all colored by the author’s experience, include short essays on the following themes:  personal anecdote, people/profiles, the Foreign Policy seen by a mid-level official, human nature, government functions, and “other” (music, immigration, condominium rules on dog comportment…). The collection is marked by a tone of light humor and social/institutional criticism. The book should serve as an “easy read,” in short segments.  At the same time, the full text, printed in chronological order of their publication dates, will give a perspective which questions and challenges facile suppositions, and notes
historic moments of interest for the general reader.


“Whitman’s prose reflects the concrete (it reminds me of light on water) and yet it suggests in subtle ways his profound thoughts and feelings about the human condition, based in part on his wide experience living overseas, that make a deep and unforgettable impact upon the reader.”

—John H. Brown, Adjunct Professor of Liberal Studies, Georgetown University.

“This collection is humorous, provocative, and intriguingly different from other publications in its genre. The written prose is superb. The author’s wit and intellect are clearly on display, and the opinions offered and conclusions reached demonstrate a delicate consideration that is rarely
found in writing today.”

—Kari L. Jaksa, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State.

“In Whitman’s deft hands no interesting subtlety is left to hide in obscurity under the literary rocks it inhabits. You can almost see the images, howling as they emerge into the light, to the delight of his readers.”

—Dan Neher, Specialist Orientation Coordinator, Foreign Service Institute.

“Whitman’s writing is both hip and erudite. The tone ranges from deadly serious to contemplative and inspiring to high comedy. Some of the blogs describe experiences the author had before becoming a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, but all seem to be informed by the sensibility he acquired during his postings around the world. I think the reader will be interested in getting a look inside the State Department. What the heck goes on there, really?  Here’s an answer, one that in my opinion is never dry and is always engaging.”

—Sara R. Wotman, PhD Psychology, Cleveland, OH.