Danger Zones

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Danger Zones: A Diplomat’s Fight for America’s Interests

“Ambassador Dean comes across in this memoir exactly as he is––a dedicated and talented man deeply proud of his record in the practice of American diplomacy.”
BRUCE LAINGEN, U.S. ambassador (ret.) and former president, American Academy of Diplomacy

Danger Zones is the autobiography of John Gunther Dean, a career Foreign Service officer, five-time U.S. ambassador, and a leading diplomat of the twentieth century. Published by New Academia Publishing, his book is the 12th in the ADST Memoirs and Occasional Papers Series. It is drawn from documents, including the author’s oral history, now housed in the U.S. National Archives at the Carter Center Library in Atlanta. Over the course of his action-packed career, Dean found himself embroiled in controversy in hot spots in Asia and the Middle East. On one of several stints in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, he worked with the U.S. military as deputy for CORDS in Central Vietnam and helped to protect the famous Cham Museum in Danang, the leading tourist attraction in Vietnam today. In Laos, he brokered the deal that ended a war, and he faced down an attempted coup d’etat in 1973 against the neutralist regime of Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma. In Cambodia, he was the last man out on April 12, 1975, on the last helicopter that left Phnom Penh as Khmer Rouge forces approached the city. In Lebanon, where he was nearly assassinated in an ambush, he reached out to all factions and promoted the idea of one Lebanon. As an activist diplomat throughout his career, he worked hard to bring people together to avoid bloodshed.

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by John Gunther Dean
Washington, DC: New Academia Publishing/Vellum, May 2009
220 pp, 18 illustrations, index
Cloth $36.00
Paperback $26.00

"John Dean's memoir, written with charm and formidable historical insight, is a thoroughly readable, even fascinating, account of his life and experiences as one of America's top twentieth-century diplomats. Born in Breslau, Germany, raised in Kansas City, educated at Harvard, he served in Army intelligence in World War II and pursued a long career in diplomacy that culminated in five consecutive ambassadorships. An activist by nature, undeterred by controversy, he consistently spoke truth to power. In assessing policies and how to achieve them, he adhered to two basic principles: promote America's best interests, and rely on diplomacy instead of war. Though not always popular, Dean's views reveal his unquestioned intelligence, honesty, and integrity. "
ROBERT V. KEELEY, author, publisher, career diplomat, and former U.S. ambassador to Greece