William Burns – The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal

William Burns, who was called The Secret Journal of the United States by The Atlantic Magazine, served in the US Department of State with five presidents and ten secretaries of state. During his long career, Burns has been involved in many significant events of recent years: Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the invasion of Yugoslavia in 1999, discussion of NATO expansion, and a nuclear deal with Iran.

In the book, the author reveals previously unknown historical details and cites recently declassified telegrams and memoranda that provide a rare opportunity to understand how diplomatic work is actually being carried out – it does not always go through official channels, through ambassadors and summits.

Since the late 1980s. William Burns actively worked in the Russian direction, and in 2005-2008. was the US ambassador to the Russian Federation, his opinion on Russian politics and the situation in the country can provide a lot of valuable information on why Russian-American relations were built in one way or another and why they ended up in a dead end.