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Nickles David Paull. Under The Wire. How The Telegraph Changed Diplomacy

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Nickles David Paull. Under The Wire. How The Telegraph Changed Diplomacy
Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England: Harvard University Press, 2003. — 272 p.
Nickles examines the impact of the telegraph on diplomacy during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His inquiry centers on three incidents: the War of 1812, the Trent affair during the Civil War, and Britain's decoding and exploitation of the Zimmermann telegram of 1917. Nickles' narratives illustrate the way delay could either provoke or prevent a war, an option that the telegraph closed. Indeed the way the device led to centralization and fed bureaucracy annoyed the leisurely, aristocratic diplomats of late-nineteenth-century Europe, whose cultivated lassitude toward work Nickles well evokes in his anecdotes. Their snobbery elevated them above such plebian concerns as cipher security. Depicting how archaic factions resist change provides a popular hook to Nickles' study, which will strongly interest aspirants to careers in the foreign service.
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