Back Issues of PDAA Today

Back issues of PDAA Today, PDAA’s quarterly print newsletter are now online and available for download.

Gone but Not Forgotten

Retired FSIO Allen Hansen’s review of the new book about the last days of USIA by professor Nicholas Cull appears in this month’s issue of Foreign Service Journal, and Hansen offers a preview to

Nicholas J. Cull’s latest book, The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency, American Public Diplomacy, 1989-2001 is reviewed in the current (May, 2013) issue of the Foreign Service Journal by Allen C. Hansen. It is a sequel to his first book on USIA, The Cold War and the U.S. Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989, published in 2009.

In writing these two remarkable books, his intensive research included interviews from 1995 through 2007 with more than 70 former USIA and VOA officers including USIA directors and other top government officials; he corresponded with two dozen of them; and he garnered first-hand material from the National Archives, presidential libraries, and elsewhere, including documents now declassified. Meticulously documenting his resources, his second volume contains 51 pages of endnotes!

Nicholas J. Cull is a professor of public diplomacy at the University of Southern California where he directs the Master’s degree program in public diplomacy. He is not only a leading scholar in the field of public diplomacy, but he is one who has a good sense of humor which appears off and on in his writing, such as the following on page 163 which most USIAers will understand and appreciate:

“Two staffers–Bob Holden and Barry Fitzgerald, who styled themselves ‘The Lost Agency Ramblers,’ composed a number of songs satirizing the merger. They adapted Dan McLean’s ‘American Pie’ into ‘The Day That USIA Died,’ with the chorus,

Why, why must USIA die?
Why did Jesse think it messy to let sleeping dogs lie?
We’ll go down to State and will give it a try,
Before they slice us like American pie…'”


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