National Affairs: Envoy Extraordinary

Balding, bespectacled Oscar Lange, soon to be Poland's new Ambassador to the U.S., arrived in Washington—without fanfare, without credentials, and (in U.S. eyes) without Polish citizenship. He had flown in not from Warsaw, but from Chicago.

The State Department was embarrassed. It could not officially welcome the University of Chicago professor of economics (and naturalized U.S. citizen) as an ambassador. It was ready to accept him as such, but Warsaw had not yet formally notified Washington of his appointment.

Polish-born, 41-year-old Oscar Lange is no stranger to the State Department, although he is unknown to most of Poland's 25 million. He has been...

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