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A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History:

Spies and Prostitutes: Memories of a Visa Officer in Post-WWII Greece

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Check out our FEATURED ORAL HISTORY: Thomas Reeve Pickering

Ambassador Thomas Reeve Pickering has played many a role in the development of American foreign policy. He served as ambassador to 6 countries and as the U.N. representative. Most recently he served as the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 to 2001. The Thomas Reeve Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship has been developed and named for Ambassador Pickering to encourage, prepare, and support young minds for their career in the Foreign Service.

Some excerpts:

On the creation of nuclear weapons treaties: “We went ahead from the limited nuclear test ban, which was a centerpiece of what we were trying to deal with. We had tried to work on a cut-off of fissionable materials production. We had a few things we were working on just beginning to think about -- a non-proliferation agreement. The Russians put proposals on the table for general and complete disarmament. We began by ’62 a general disarmament discussion in Geneva with 18 countries. The French never attended to avoid prejudicing their right to continue nuclear tests, so it was always 17, but I went out first on temporary duty and flew out on Dean Rusk’s airplane. We had a chance to talk. I remember his fascination about what are we going to do about chemical and biological weapons. We had just begun early to think about it. It was terrifically interesting. I had on the test ban delegation begun to work for a guy by the name of Charlie Stelle who had been carrying the load in the test ban and was resident in Geneva. He was one of the China hands, an army air force officer in China during the war.”


On the situation in 1960s Zanzibar:  “What had happened was that an island which had been probably the last refuge of the major incompetents of the British colonial service had gone through a revolution in January of 1964. It following their independence I think in late November, early December of 1963 under an Arab Sultan. The revolution brought down the Arab Sultan, Jamshid, of the Omani Royal family. The Omani’s had taken over the rule of the island about 1820 and in fact at one point the Omani ruling family actually moved to Zanzibar. Then it split in the middle of the 19th century and the two parts remained separate and in the colonial expansion period the British established a protectorate in Zanzibar.”

Read more about Thomas Reeve Pickering HERE.

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