The Back Channel, by William J. Burns
Only the second career diplomat to serve as Deputy Secretary of State, Ambassador William J. Burns (now President Biden’s CIA Director) reflects on the successes, shortcomings, and uncommon developments as a foreign service officer from the Cold War to today. Spanning a career in both Republican and Democratic administrations, Burns’s storytelling approach to his own experiences illustrates the dynamic nature of American foreign policy. Writing during the Trump administration, he makes a passionate case for American diplomacy’s revival as its decline continues to put a freer world at risk. The diplomat’s personal accounts and anecdotes bring life to powerful figures, some of them still making policy today.