"Unique in both its comprehensive research and breadth and depth of coverage. This volume extends Braisted's analysis of naval affairs in the Pacific that he began in his two previous acclaimed works. Diplomats in Blue has a particularly timely quality because it conveys the complexity of working in and with a foreign culture in a 'peacekeeping' or 'maintenance of order' mission similar to current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are lessons here for policymakers."--James C. Bradford, Texas A&M University
William Braisted is one of the world's foremost authorities on the U.S. naval experience in the Pacific, especially China, and Diplomats in Blue is a monumental work that adds further luster to his remarkable career.
The 1920s and 30s were an especially turbulent period in Chinese history, and the U.S. Navy was deployed there not as an instrument of war, but of diplomacy. Their task was to keep China intact, independent, and free of occupation. They faced warlords fighting throughout the country, growing nationalist sentiment, and, eventually, the rise of Chinese communists and heightened Japanese aggression. Their mission included protecting embassies, conducting river patrols, protecting American lives and property, and carrying out civil affairs with the Chinese government.
In this narrative, Braisted--an admiral's son who actually lived in China during his father's tour of duty with the Navy at this time--is both historian and a witness with special insight.
William Reynolds Braisted is professor emeritus of naval history at the University of Texas.
No Sample Chapter AvailableAwards
John Lyman Book Award - 2010
"This period is one of exhaustive change in China, and in intricacy in international relations there. William R. Braisted handles these challenges with expertise." The Northern Mariner
"A significant and vital body of work that adds a wealth of knowledge to the study of U.S.-China relations, foreign policy and U.S. Naval history during the time period. A must read for those who have a passion for and basic knowledge of the subject." The Daybook
"Valuable contribution to understanding the often contentious and sometimes cooperative nature of relations between military and diplomatic players both inside and outside the U.S. forces and diplomatic corps." Proceedings
"A few words cannot do justice to this massive study. Braisted brings order to a chaotic tale and presents it in clear and graceful prose. Anyone intersted in the relationship between force and diplomacy can read the book with great profit. I suspect readers will readily recognize this book for what it is--the crowning achievement of a master naval historian." The Journal of Military History
"Anyone interested in the relationship between force and diplomacy can read the book with great profit. I suspect readers will readily recognize this book for what it is--the crowning achievement of a master naval historian." The Journal of Military History
"Both erudite and authoritative. It has a first-class tradition to live up to and it does so compellingly." International Journal of Maritime History