Kissinger: 1973 The Crucial Year

Kissinger: 1973 The Crucial Year

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Oxford University historian Horne (Harold Macmillan) presents a busy snapshot of America's controversial super diplomat in this admiring biographical study.

The year 1973 ran Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon's chief foreign policy adviser, ragged with such watersheds as the Paris Peace Treaty with North Vietnam, the Chileans overthrow of president Salvador Allende and the Yom Kippur War; he also won the Nobel Peace Prize, was appointed secretary of state and launched détente with the Soviets. Horne's chummy portrait, heavily informed by its ever-accessible subject, dubs Kissinger the single most powerful man in the world as his epic negotiations, intricately recounted here, resolved crisis after crisis while a paralyzed Nixon White House dithered over Watergate.

Horne defends Kissinger from leftists who accuse him of war crimes and right-wingers who claim he was soft on Russia; he absolves Kissinger of responsibility for the Chilean coup, and blames congressional doves and a fifth column of antiwar activists for handing Indochina over to communism. The author's own Cold War conservatism heightens the book's dated tone; he doesn't question the continuing relevance of Kissinger's static, Metternichian balance-of-superpowers vision. His is a simplistic, unreflective account of Kissinger's place in history

Hardback with dustwrapper

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