The two-sentence review of my “The Politics of Information Warfare in the United States”

Chapter head: Politics of Information Warfare in the United States by Matt Armstrong

It is nice to have your work reviewed. This is especially true when the product is otherwise “locked” away behind a paywall of an “academically” priced book (translation: the cost is several multiples of a reasonable price). That joy is subverted a bit when a review lacks clarity and may be interpreted to claim the opposite of what I wrote. This happened recently with a review that appeared in Parameters, a quarterly magazine from the US Army War College. The review was of my contribution — a 9500-word, footnoted version of my War on the Rocks article from January 2017, “The Past, Present, and Future of the War for Public Opinion” — in an edited book.

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Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #53 (Courtesy of Bruce Gregory)

Courtesy of Bruce Gregory, Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University.

October 22, 2010
Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest.  Suggestions for future updates are welcome.
Bruce Gregory
Adjunct Professor
George Washington University
Georgetown University

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Book review by Dennis Murphy on the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy

handbookpublicdiplomacy[1]Dennis Murphy reviews the Routledge Handbook on Public Diplomacy edited by Nancy Snow and Phil Taylor.

To address these shortcomings and provide a balanced, and heretofore lacking conceptual framework [for public diplomacy], Nancy Snow and Philip Taylor have pulled together an impressive number of academics and practitioners to lay the foundations of the concept in the 29 chapters of this handbook.  Organized topically into six parts, the editors have attempted to provide a resource with wide-appeal ranging from the lay-person interested in public diplomacy to the advanced practitioner. …

The “Handbook of Public Diplomacy” is a worthy effort that provides a broad conceptual framework for the increasingly important national security field of public diplomacy. It is recommended reading for all who study, practice and are interested in the application of the information element of power in support of national objectives.

Read the whole review here. Support this blog and go to Amazon and buy the book or something else using this link.

Book Review: Practicing Public Diplomacy

imageFriend and colleague, John Brown, reviewed Yale Richmond’s latest book, Practicing Public Diplomacy: A Cold War Odyssey, at  From John’s review:

In his memoir, Practicing Public Diplomacy: A Cold War Odyssey, Yale Richmond tells us what public diplomacy is in a lively and personal way, by recounting his many experiences, in Asia and Eastern Europe (as well as Washington, DC), as a Foreign Service officer (FSO) handling press, educational, and cultural affairs during the second half of the past century. Thanks to his subtle, engaging, and witty narrative about his distinguished 30-year career, the reader learns a great deal about how public diplomacy is carried out in the field by a model FSO (for what overarching policy purposes, however, is not covered in detail by this slim volume).

Richmond’s elucidating anecdotes about the key persons he met throughout his career abroad underscore that public diplomacy — as Edward R. Murrow, the Director of the United States Information Agency (USIA) during the Kennedy administration, famously said — “is not so much moving information or guidance or policy five or 10,000 miles. … The real art is to move it the last three feet in face to face conversation.” Focusing on individuals (rather than governments), public diplomacy encompasses an infinite variety of activities, some of which can have important (but hard to quantify) long-term consequences: from building “national consciousness in a new country” (Richmond on what he did while posted in Laos in 1954-1956) to organizing educational exchanges, a “vital part of Public Diplomacy” (to cite Richmond again) which (in the case of the Soviet Union, where Richmond served 1967-1969) can be effective “in bringing about change in a country that had isolated itself from the West for so many years.”

Read the whole review at as well as an excerpt shows the style of most of the book.  It does not read like a text book, but as a series of first hand experiences told by a remarkable individual that, as Pat Kushlis remarked, is “one of our very best practitioners” of public diplomacy.