Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Highlighted Oral History: Jack Harrod


image from adst [Association for Diplomacy Studies and Training) homepage; on Benjamin Franklin as America's first "public diplomat," see.

Highlighted Oral History: Jack Harrod

soviet posterBorn in Chicago, John "Jack" Harrod went to Grinnell College, Colgate, Moscow State University and Georgetown before joining the Peace Corps. In the Foreign Service as a public diplomacy officer with the United States Information Agency, he served at U.S. embassies in Moscow, Kabul, Poznan, Warsaw and Brussels.

Here's an excerpt from his days in the former Soviet Union: "As the exhibit would go from city to city, some of the cities had obviously a much tougher KGB contingent than others. There were certain cities where we would have almost no security problems at all and some where it was a daily struggle to try to keep the goons out. We had other kinds of security problems, in the sense of people who visited our exhibit and asked particularly provocative questions, who were obvious plants, or some innocent people who asked the wrong kinds of questions who literally would get beat up in the parking lot outside the exhibit. We saw lots of fairly nasty things, which helped shape my view of the former Soviet Union."

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

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