Back to Diplomats and Diplomacy
Born a Foreigner: A Memoir of the American Presence in Asia
“. . . no one who reads [Born a Foreigner] will fail to sense Cross’s own solid values or his sympathy and respect for the ordinary Chinese and other Asians whom he lived among during the turbulent and often tragic events recounted in this book.” ––ARNOLD R. ISAACS, author of Vietnam Shadows
Chuck Cross spent much of his youth and adult life in China and elsewhere in East Asia, garnering insights and skills he later applied to U.S. diplomacy in the region. His book –– part perceptive memoir, part provocative diplomatic history –– traces the intense, sometimes violent American connection with East Asia as the author observed and experienced it. He was a boy in Beijing, a teenager under the Japanese Occupation of North China, a decorated Marine in World War II combat in the Pacific, and a distinguished Foreign Service officer.
Cross’s 32-year diplomatic career was heavy on East Asia and China-watching –– in Indonesia in the first years of independence, Malaysia during the Communist insurgency, London during secret Vietnam negotiations, Vietnam as chief of pacification operations in I Corps 1967–69, Singapore as ambassador 1969–72, Hong Kong as consul general 1974–77, and Taiwan as the first director of the American Institute and unofficial U.S. representative, 1977–81. He also served in Egypt, Cyprus, and Washington.