Martha Bayles reviews a new book on "public diplomacy" by Carnes Lord and finds it wanting. She ends the short review by recommending that he recollect Aristotle’s definition of rhetoric (as Lord translates it): "What is crucial is to attain a proper understanding of the possibilities of persuasion in a given situation." I should mention that she began the review with this from Aristotle (another Lord translation): "The things that are truer and better are more susceptible to reasoned argument and more persuasive, generally speaking."
Regarding non-public diplomacy The New York Times notes how the careers of Markus Wolf (the late East German spy chief) and Robert Gates, former CIA chief, had crossed. The paper also takes a few excerpts from the memoirs of each that are worth reading. Note how the former chief of the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung--the one who was afraid of dealing with the terrorists Carlos the Jackal--mocks the CIA. Wolf died last week, Communist East Germany died over ten years ago. Gates will become Secretary of Defense next week.