William Julius Lederer, Jr. was an American author.
He was a US Naval Academy graduate in 1936. His first appointment was as the junior officer of a river gunboat on the Yangtze River.
His best selling work, 1958's The Ugly American
, was one of several novels co-written with Eugene Burdick. Disillusioned with the style and substance of America's diplomatic efforts in Southeast Asia, Lederer and Burdick openly sought to demonstrate their belief that American officials and civilians could make a substantial difference in Southeast Asian politics if they were willing to learn local languages, follow local customs and employ regional military tactics. However, if American policy makers continued to ignore the logic behind these lessons, Southeast Asia would fall under Soviet or Chinese Communist influence.
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