An ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Book
Robert Hopkins Miller spent nearly one-third of his forty-year Foreign Service career on America’s unsuccessful Vietnam venture—from 1962 to the end of the war. This memoir of his full career emphasizes his Vietnam years but also covers his postings in Europe and assignments as ambassador to Malaysia, 1977–80, and to Côte d’Ivoire, 1983–86.
During the war Miller was an active member of the mission to Saigon and to the Paris peace negotiations. As a player in the events of those years, he provides us with fascinating and informative observations of such luminaries as Maxwell Taylor, Henry Cabot Lodge, Philip Habib, William Bundy, David Bruce, Robert Komer, and the South Vietnamese leadership and offers new insights into the conduct of diplomacy during the war. He describes the internal debates and frequent arguments, the tensions and the anguish that went on below the top policy levels in Washington.
Miller supplements personal recollections of his professional life with documentation from published accounts and official files to give a full picture of life in the Foreign Service during peace and war. He reveals how one diplomat's thinking on Vietnam evolved as America's frustrations grew, and he conveys a sense of how we became entangled in a major trouble spot.
"[This] remarkable story of a single foreign service officer who was involved in many of the key issues of the Cold War era... is a must read for anyone with an interest in seeing how our nation's foreign policies are developed and staffed by professionals. ...[It] is a candid, perceptive, and revealing recital... on the personalities, complexities, and challenges that constituted America's torturous experience with... Vietnam.
"Bob Miller takes us into the engine room of the Titanic as U.S. policy in Vietnam unswervingly approaches the iceberg of reality. His candid and valuable memoir of the war as seen from the mid-level of the State Department bureaucracy."