The Flawed Architect

The Flawed Architect

Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy

Book - 2004
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Henry Kissinger dominated American foreign relations like no other figure in recent history. He negotiated an end to American involvement in the Vietnam War, opened relations with Communist China, and orchestrated detente with the Soviet Union. Yet he is also the man behind the secret bombingof Cambodia and policies leading to the overthrow of Chile's President Salvador Allende. Which is more accurate, the picture of Kissinger the skilled diplomat or Kissinger the war criminal? In The Flawed Architect, the first major reassessment of Kissinger in over a decade, historian Jussi Hanhimaki paints a subtle, carefully composed portrait of America's most famous and infamous statesman. Drawing on extensive research from newly declassified files, the author follows Kissinger fromhis beginnings in the Nixon administration up to the current controversy fed by Christopher Hitchens over whether Kissinger is a war criminal. Hanhimaki guides the reader through White House power struggles and debates behind the Cambodia and Laos invasions, the search for a strategy in Vietnam, thebreakthrough with China, and the unfolding of Soviet-American detente. Here, too, are many other international crises of the period--the Indo-Pakistani War, the Yom Kippur War, the Angolan civil war--all set against the backdrop of Watergate. Along the way, Hanhimaki sheds light on Kissinger'spersonal flaws--he was obsessed with secrecy and bureaucratic infighting in an administration that self-destructed in its abuse of power--as well as his great strengths as a diplomat. We see Kissinger negotiating, threatening and joking with virtually all of the key foreign leaders of the 1970s,from Mao to Brezhnev and Anwar Sadat to Golda Meir. This well researched account brings to life the complex nature of American foreign policymaking during the Kissinger years. It will be the standard work on Kissinger for years to come.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004
ISBN: 9780195172218
Branch Call Number: B K643H 2004
Characteristics: xxii, 554 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm

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Jan 05, 2014

"He negotiated an end to American involvement in the Vietnam War.." (Except the war ended when congress cut off financing, and the North Vietnamese rolled into Saigon during their invasion! And Kissinger was President Johnson's "defense advisor" [a commonly ignored fact] during Johnson's colossal military buildup in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.) "... opened relations with Communist China, and orchestrated detente with the Soviet Union." (Except David Rockefeller accompanied Kissinger and Nixon on those trips to China, and in 1973 opened banking operations simultaneously in Beijing and Moscow.) Woodward suggested that Feld, assistant FBI director, was "Deep Throat" (Woodward, that is, who was a former officer in Naval Investigative Service and who was involved in background checks of White House Communications Agency personnel prior to becoming a WaPo reporter), yet only Kissinger had the access which a "Deep Throat" bespoke? This author tends to skew reality! The author portrays the "skilled diplomat" Kissinger, conveniently ignoring his lifelong relationship with and to the Rockefeller brothers, Nelson and David? Was Kissinger really "shortsighted" as the author claimed? Or did everything work out to the benefit of the Rockefeller family and the Wall Streeters?


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