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Early envoys abroad faced hostile governments, physical privations, disease, isolation, and the daunting challenge of explaining American democracy to foreign rulers. Many suffered threats from tyrannical despots, some were held as slaves or hostages, and others led foreign armies into battle. Some were heroes, some were scoundrels, and many perished far from home. From the American Revolution to the Civil War, Eicher profiles the characters who influenced the formative period of American diplomacy and the first steps the United States took as a world power. Their experiences combine to chart key trends in the development of early U.S. foreign policy that continue to affect us today. Raising the Flag illuminates how American ideas, values, and power helped shape the modern world.
“Raising the Flag is a journey of discovery, a veritable treasure trove of early ventures in American diplomacy. The book offers refreshing insights and inspiration, both for general readers and for those more closely associated with American diplomacy.”—Susan R. Johnson, president of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training
“Eicher’s wonderfully detailed accounts of America’s early diplomats—their foibles and challenges—vividly recall the era when America’s foreign fortunes were first forged in the far-flung reaches of the globe. It is mandatory reading for diplomatic history buffs.”—Robert E. Gribbin, former ambassador to Rwanda and the Central African Republic and author of In the Aftermath of Genocide: The U.S. Role in Rwanda
“Raising the Flag is a superb highlights reel of American diplomacy during its exciting first few generations after independence. Peter Eicher’s anecdotes bring some of America’s earliest, lesser-known envoys and their colorful adventures to life, as they struggled through the new nation’s first appearances on the world stage. Enthusiastically recommended!”—Andrew C. A. Jampoler, author of Embassy to the Eastern Courts: America’s Secret First Pivot Toward Asia, 1832–37
“This is a fascinating look at men who accomplished so much diplomatically in the early years of the American republic yet are mostly forgotten. Modern diplomats often suffer the same fate—but Eicher’s well-researched book will ensure that these men will be remembered and receive the plaudits they deserve.”—Gene Schmiel, author of Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era
“Peter Eicher vividly portrays a time when U.S. representatives overseas had little more than their wits and courage to aid their efforts to protect their fellow citizens and the interests of our young republic. His book should be required reading for all new foreign service officers and for anyone interested in American diplomacy.”—Jack Zetkulic, senior U.S. foreign service officer (Ret.) and adjunct professor of diplomacy at American University