In Other Words

Cable News

What is WikiLeaks really trying to tell us? We asked eminent historians and scholars to take the long view on these startling documents.

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How does one make sense of the vast amounts of information found in the WikiLeaks cables? With so much to read and so few easy ways to understand the huge data dump, we looked to the experts: scholars, diplomats, and professional readers of all stripes who gave us their iconoclastic takes on what these documents are actually saying, from scholar Marjorie Garber's analysis of the leaks-as-lit to historian Maya Jasanoff's look at how our diplomatic empire compares to empires of the past to Ambassador Peter Galbraith's step-by-step how-to guide to cable-writing. Think of it as our guided tour through the labyrinth of cables.

Margaret MacMillan, A Short History of Secrecy Maya Jasanoff, Revenge of the Quiet American Peter Galbraith, How to Write a Cable Fouad Ajami, Nothing to See Here Marjorie Garber, Anatomy of a Honey Trap

How does one make sense of the vast amounts of information found in the WikiLeaks cables? With so much to read and so few easy ways to understand the huge data dump, we looked to the experts: scholars, diplomats, and professional readers of all stripes who gave us their iconoclastic takes on what these documents are actually saying, from scholar Marjorie Garber’s analysis of the leaks-as-lit to historian Maya Jasanoff’s look at how our diplomatic empire compares to empires of the past to Ambassador Peter Galbraith’s step-by-step how-to guide to cable-writing. Think of it as our guided tour through the labyrinth of cables.

 

Britt Peterson is a contributing editor and columnist for Washingtonian magazine, as well as a freelancer for the New York Times Book Review, Slate, and Elle. Previously, she was an editor at Foreign Policy, where she oversaw the magazine’s culture section. Twitter: @brittkpeterson

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