The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

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A man in morning suit is carried in a sedan chair by three Chinese men, surrounded by other men in formal dress
[Detail] Ambassador Gauss crossing river, May 26, 1941.

Overview

The Frontline Diplomacy: The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training collection has been migrated to an improved presentation and will no longer be updated in American Memory. Please visit the new presentation.

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 how a structure of stable relationships that maintained world peace and protected U.S. interests and values was built.

The interviews in the collection are mostly with 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 that U.S. diplomacy defends 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 1,743 transcripts of oral history interviews were donated by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST), a private, nonprofit organization.

The statements, views, and opinions contained in the interviews do not necessarily represent those of the United States government, its agencies, or the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.  All interviewees agreed not to divulge classified information.

For a list of interviews that have not yet been posted to this site, please see www.adst.org (external link).

Essay

Telling the story