The definitive biography of Henry Kissinger, based on unprecedented access to his private papers
No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Once hailed as âSuper-Kââthe âindispensable manâ whose advice has been sought by every president from Kennedy to Obamaâhe has also been hounded by conspiracy theorists, scouring his every âtelconâ for evidence of Machiavellian malfeasance. Yet as Niall Ferguson shows in this magisterial biography, the idea of Kissinger as the ruthless arch-realist is based on a profound misunderstanding. Drawing not only on Kissingerâs hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than a hundred archives around the world, Ferguson argues that the true foundation of Kissingerâs thought is philosophical idealismâcombined with history itself.
The first half of Kissingerâs life is usually skimmed over as a quintessential tale of American ascent: the Jewish refugee from Hitlerâs Germany who made it to the White House. But in this first of two volumes, Ferguson shows that what Kissinger achieved before his appointment as Richard Nixonâs national security adviser was astonishing in its own right. Toiling as a teenager in a New York factory, he studied indefatigably at night. He was drafted into the U.S. infantry and saw action at the Battle of the Bulgeâas well as the liberation of a concentration campâbut ended his army career interrogating Nazis. It was at Harvard that Kissinger found his vocation. Having immersed himself in the philosophy of Kant and the diplomacy of Metternich, he shot to celebrity by arguing for âlimited nuclear war.â Nelson Rockefeller hired him. Kennedy called him to Camelot. Yet Kissingerâs rise was anything but irresistible. Dogged by press gaffes and disappointed by âRocky,â Kissinger seemed stuckâuntil a trip to Vietnam changed everything.
The Idealist is the story of the single most important strategic thinker America has ever produced. It is also a political Bildungsroman, explaining how âDr. Strangeloveâ ended up as consigliere to a politician he had always abhorred. Like Fergusonâs classic two-volume history of the House of Rothschild, Kissinger sheds dazzling new light on an entire era. The essential account of an extraordinary life, it recasts the cold war world.
Pricing is shown for items sent to or within the U.S., excluding shipping and tax. Please consult the store to determine exact fees. No warranties are made express or implied about the accuracy, timeliness, merit, or value of the information provided. Information subject to change without notice. isbn.nu is not a bookseller, just an information source.