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Kissinger. Volume I, 1923-1968 : the idealist

Author: Niall Ferguson
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2015. ©2015
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A definitive portrait of the American statesman, based on unprecedented access to his private papers, challenges common misconceptions to trace Kissinger's beliefs to philosophical idealism.
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Biography
Named Person: Henry Kissinger; Henry Kissinger
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Niall Ferguson
ISBN: 9781594206535 1594206538
OCLC Number: 900623979
Description: xix, 986 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
Contents: Book I. Heimat ; Escape ; Fürth on the Hudson ; An unexpected private ; The living and the dead ; In the ruins of the Reich --
Book II. The idealist ; Psychological warfare ; Doctor Kissinger ; Strangelove? ; Boswash --
Book III. The intellectual and the policy maker ; Flexible responses ; Facts of life ; Crisis --
Book IV. The road to Vietnam ; The unquiet American ; Dirt against the wind --
Book V. The anti-Bismarck ; Waiting for Hanoi ; 1968 ; The unlikely combination --
Epilogue: A Bildungsroman.
Responsibility: Niall Ferguson.

Abstract:

A definitive portrait of the American statesman, based on unprecedented access to his private papers, challenges common misconceptions to trace Kissinger's beliefs to philosophical idealism.

No American statesman has been as revered or as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Once hailed as "Super K"--The "indispensable man" whose advice has been sought by every president from Kennedy to Obama--he has also been hounded by conspiracy theorists for evidence of Machiavellian malfeasance. Yet as Niall Ferguson shows in this magisterial two-volume biography, drawing not only on Kissinger's hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than a hundred archives around the world, the idea of Kissinger as the ruthless arch-realist is based on a profound misunderstanding. The first half of Kissinger's life is usually skimmed over as a quintessential tale of American ascent: the Jewish refugee from Hitler's 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 Nixon's national security adviser was astonishing in its own right. This is the story of one of the most important strategic thinkers America has ever produced. It is also a political Bildungsroman, explaining how "Dr. Strangelove" ended up as consigliere to a politician he had always abhorred. The essential account of an extraordinary life, it recasts the Cold War world--Adapted from book jacket.

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