Wednesday, May 6, 2015



Hope of the Phoenix
The Reawakening and Rise of America's Humanitarian Spirit 
from the Ashes of Vietnam

"The work of people in this Department has saved countless lives. Your dedication to the refugees of Indochina marks one of the shining moments of the Foreign Service." 

Secretary of State George Shultz spoke those words to State Department officers in a speech, the "Meaning of Vietnam." All gathered in and around State's front entrance hall on April 25, 1985, five days prior to the 10th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. 

Jim met with George P. Shultz in California on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in the Secretary's office at the Hoover Institution, on the Stanford University campus. Jim briefed Mr. Shultz about Hope of the Phoenix, and they reminisced about that crucial era - "the refugee decade."

The two men noted that their meeting about Jim's book coincided almost to the day with the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, April 30, 1975, when cries for help for thousands, then millions, of Southeast Asia refugees began. 

As Secretary of State for President Reagan, Mr.Shultz spoke up for refugee haven, aid, and assistance. He spoke before Congress on behalf of humanitarian immigration for Amerasian children. He participated in foreign policy negotiations with governments needing U.S. insistence on changes (e.g., the USSR and Soviet Jews and other religious minorities) as part of negotiations on other vital global interests.   

Refugee issues were an integral part of U.S. foreign policy decisions during three presidential administrations: Ford, Carter, and Reagan, each of whom recognized and acted upon humanitarian elements of foreign policy.      

Hope of the Phoenix: The Reawakening and Rise of America's Humanitarian Spirit from the Ashes of Vietnam, 1975-1986 brings to life a remarkable slice of U.S. history regarding refugees. The insider's view of the interim and then appointed director of the new Bureau for Refugee Programs, 1979-1986, is full of region-wide accounts.

From Southeast Asia, an array of global crises erupted: the Middle East,USSR (as mentioned), Africa, Eastern Europe, Central America, the Mediterranean, and South Asia. Their plight needed the organization and convincing outreach of the United States.

The State Department and its Refugee Program led the way with its in-house team, foreign embassy teams, other U.S. agencies at home and abroad, the U.S. Congress, the UN and its affected agencies, including the Red Cross, International Red Cross, UNHCR, World Food Program, and many others.

What highly recommends the book is its thorough research: recorded interviews of others on-the-scene, peer reviews from the same, and an array of news and other reports of the time.

Five Books (parts/sections) include chapters according to regions. The fifth and briefest of all the books is being written and is under peer review and comments.

All of this and more Jim and George P. Shultz, whom Jim has considered a mentor since 1970, experienced up close to strategic and tactical decisions and actions. 

Jim appreciated Mr. Shultz's recent encouragement for the book.   

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