Today's is David Newsom's last regular column for the Monitor. A former undersecretary of state for political affairs, interim secretary of state between Presidents Carter and Reagan, and a three-time US ambassador - to Libya, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Mr. Newsom has written his diplomacy column for the Monitor since 1981. The breadth of his experience was reflected in his commentary, which ranged from his memories of visits to 1940s China to modern arms control. He is at work on a book - 'The Imperial Mantle: the United States, Decolonization, and the Third World' - about the breakup of European empires, due from Indiana University Press by year-end. The Monitor appreciates and will miss the insight, depth of knowledge, and vast sweep he brought to more than 400 columns over the years.

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