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on December 29, 2013
In this readable and informative history book, the author (a historian at the U.S. State Department) discusses and explains how the telegraph affected diplomacy by the Western countries in a variety of ways during the period 1851-1918. Focusing primarily on diplomacy conducted by the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany, the author contends the telegraph affected Western diplomacy in three ways: (1) changing the degree of autonomy that diplomats abroad had available to them; (2) changing the speed and pace of diplomacy, with collateral effects on the lives of diplomats; and (3) changing how foreign policy establishments operated. The author draws on a variety of sources -- books, articles, and government archives -- to support and illustrate his contentions and arguments.

The book includes extensive notes and references for scholars and students of history. But, the author writes in a style that is accessible to non-scholarly readers. Although some knowledge of modern history would be useful to better understand and appreciate the author's contentions and arguments, most readers should be able to grasp and follow the author's discussion and analysis without such knowledge. Overall, I found the book to be thoughtful, informative, and enjoyable to read.

Another book, which discusses the effects of the telegraph and radio on diplomacy and international politics during the period 1851-1945, is Daniel R. Headrick, The Invisible Weapon: Telecommunications and International Politics, 1851-1945. Readers interested in the effects of the telegraph should also consider taking a look at the following books: Tom Wheeler, Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War and Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-line Pioneers
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on February 28, 2004
This book is written masterfully and sheds wonderful light on important facets of history! It is a truly intriguing and fascinating look at how telegraphy and technological change influenced changes in diplomacy and society. The writing is so compelling that this book will interest a wide audience and range of readers. I highly recommend this work!
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on April 14, 2014
This book takes the reader to a subject not easily imagined---diplomatic history pivoted
upon a technical innovation. The author is thorough and his narrative moves
swiftly. One of the best "Gee I didn't know that" books I've ever read. And it is serious history,
demonstrating how the telegraph made the wide world smaller. Wm Seale
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on April 7, 2015
Interesting to see how technology influences diplomacy.
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