Cover: Under the Wire: How the Telegraph Changed Diplomacy, from Harvard University PressCover: Under the Wire in HARDCOVER

Harvard Historical Studies 144

Under the Wire

How the Telegraph Changed Diplomacy

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Product Details


$59.00 • £47.95 • €53.00

ISBN 9780674010352

Publication Date: 11/30/2003


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

8 halftones

Harvard Historical Studies


David Paull Nickles has plumbed the archives of four countries to determine just how transformative [the invention of the telegraph] really was. Under the Wire is a subtle and impressive examination of history.—Christian D. Brose, The Wall Street Journal

Nickles offers often interesting and different interpretations of well-known events. His is a timely and readable study of how changing technology impacted the role of traditional diplomats—and the degree to which they could be controlled from Washington.Communication Booknotes Quarterly

In a study based on impressive multinational research, Nickles examines the critical impact of the telegraph on the diplomacy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries… It is an interesting study by a knowledgeable author and includes an excellent discussion of the Zimmerman Telegram incident.Cryptologia

By focusing on the telegraph, Nickles reveals the complexity of interactions between technology and human behavior…in analyzing how telegraphy transformed diplomacy, he has made a signal contribution to the literatures on communications technology and on diplomatic history. And best of all, his book is a delight to read.—Daniel Headrick, Victorian Studies

In this study of the impact of telegraphy on the management of international relations, the reader is rewarded time and again by finding original observations regarding familiar events. This is a book that can have a shaping effect not only on the field of international relations but on many others, since it compels one to think hard about how changes in technology affect behavior and thought among groups with deeply rooted traditions and beliefs.—Ernest R. May, Harvard University

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