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Publisher's Summary

A young diplomat's account of her assignment in South Sudan, a firsthand example of US foreign policy that has failed in its diplomacy and accountability around the world.

In 2017, Elizabeth Shackelford wrote a pointed resignation letter to her then boss, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. She had watched as the State Department was gutted, and now she urged him to stem the bleeding by showing leadership and commitment to his diplomats and the country. If he couldn't do that, she said, "I humbly recommend that you follow me out the door."

With that, she sat down to write her story and share an urgent message.

In The Dissent Channel, former diplomat Elizabeth Shackelford shows that this is not a new problem. Her experience in 2013 during the precarious rise and devastating fall of the world's newest country, South Sudan, exposes a foreign policy driven more by inertia than principles, to suit short-term political needs over long-term strategies.

Through her story, Shackelford makes policy and politics come alive. And in navigating both American bureaucracy and the fraught history and present of South Sudan, she conveys an urgent message about the devolving state of US foreign policy.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Elizabeth Shackelford (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"At a time when many Americans are wondering if a values-based foreign policy is either desirable or feasible, Elizabeth Shackelford offers a passionate and detailed account of the risks of not having one, under the challenging circumstances faced by the Obama Administration in South Sudan. In presenting one side of a complex story, Elizabeth reveals why it is imperative now more than ever that dissenting voices, particularly from those closest to the ground, be heard and answered" (Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America)

"In these norm-shattering times, we urgently need to examine and learn from mistakes of the past. This beautifully written, personal story exposes uncomfortable truths about the costs of America's foreign policy approach and, without cynicism, offers some hope for a better way forward." (Yara Bayoumy, national security editor, The Atlantic)

"An honest accounting by a patriot seeking a deliberate national discourse on what actually makes America great." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Compelling Personal Story & Important Policy Book

This is an excellent and important book. The Dissent Channel is a both compelling personal story and a brutally honest, highly principled and provocative challenge to what American diplomacy and foreign policy have become. Sobering yet hopeful. I learned a lot from it and highly recommend it. The pacing is great, and the length is perfect. The narration is very good overall, but there are a few disconcerting pronunciations.