Thursday, March 2, 2017

Highlighted Oral History: McKinney Russell

Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

mckinney russell“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Thanks to Benjamin Franklin for those wise words. The men and women in the foreign affairs community who have taken the time to record their oral histories over the past three decades have created something worth reading and done many things worth writing about. Of the more than 2000 histories we offer, here is one.  If you would like to suggest an oral history to feature, please contact ADST.

McKinney Russell served as a Public Diplomacy Officer in Kinshasa, Moscow, Bonn, Brasilia, and Beijing, retiring at the rank of Minister Counselor. He was also a professor of public affairs and diplomacy, and supported international youth development and choral cooperation.

Here's an excerpt: "In those days our problems in Moscow were much affected by the problems and challenges of dealing with the Soviet authorities. The Foreign Ministry’s Cultural Section, the Ministry of Higher Education, these organizations’ people were extremely hard characters to negotiate with because they all had political agendas of their own to limit access and the ability of American cultural diplomats like us to what was going on in the country or influence attitudes there. We had all kinds of complex negotiations about these national exhibits. They would check the list of all of the books in the library that had come in, for example, and if in one of those books there was critical comment about Karl Marx, say, that book had to be withdrawn, not burned, but not put on the shelf. "

To see the entire list of oral histories, please follow the link.

No comments: