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Winning the Cold War: Nixon and Kissinger in October 1973

Henry Kissinger is a unique phenomenon in American history. Still alive and active in his early nineties, he was born in 1923 and was ten when Hitler came to power, 15 when his Jewish parents brought him to New York. Unlike his younger brother, he never lost his German accent, though from 18 he did his thinking, especially on important matters, in English. Aged 19 he was drafted into the US Army, where he became an expert in de-Nazification. Eligible for the GI Bill of Rights, he applied in 1947, late, to New York University, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell and Pennsylvania. All turned him down, flat. Harvard alone not only accepted him but awarded him a scholarship. Thereafter he became a Harvard star, though he had to struggle ferociously for tenure and professional status.

Kissinger was basically a historian, though his studies encompassed philosophy and government, among many other things. His work was characterised by intense industry, pellucid intelligence, imagination and inventiveness, and, not least, sardonic humour. His thesis was a remarkable study of the early-19th-century Congress of Vienna, published as A World Restored, in which Castlereagh emerged as the hero. But this was quickly followed by essays, articles and reviews, published in Foreign Affairs and other specialist journals, on foreign and military policy. Kissinger was among the first to tackle the risky subject of the use of nuclear weapons, strategic and tactical, in the conduct of foreign affairs, and his treatment aroused passion and interest in book form, selling tens of thousands of copies. Almost inevitably, he was drawn into politics, first as advisor to the Republican presidential contender Nelson Rockefeller, then in the early ’60s to the Kennedy Administration, and finally in the ’70s under Nixon, as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, the first foreign-born citizen to rise to this eminence.

Niall Ferguson, himself something of a Harvard star, has chosen to tackle this topic on the grandest possible scale. This volume takes us only up to 1968, when Kissinger was 45 and not yet ensconced in his Washington fortress. But it is a thousand pages. I groaned when I felt its weight in my hands. But my resistance soon turned to admiration. Ferguson is not afraid to put in the background to all the key phases through which he carries his hero: the New York public school system, wartime army intelligence, Harvard in the late ’40s, the last years of Stalin, the various Berlin crises, the Korean War, the impact of Khrushchev’s adventurism, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the origin of American involvement in Vietnam. On all these matters I acquired valuable knowledge, elegantly conveyed. Although Kissinger’s combination of intelligence and perception made him an ideal participant in the formation of policy at the highest level, he had to learn the hard way the diabolical arts of Washington political necromancy. His first spell in government, under Kennedy, was an almost total failure. Kennedy’s National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, for reasons known best to himself — the author hints at jealousy — kept him away from all levels of power. But Kissinger learned from his mistakes and did not repeat them.

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Araik Sargsyan, academician
September 5th, 2015
12:09 PM
Saudi Arabia already in crisis. Expert assessment of Academy of Geopolitics. The budget deficit of Saudi Arabia can reach 20% of GDP. The country for the first time for the last eight years started borrowing money in the financial markets. One of bonded loans was placed this week. But experts believe that the saved-up reserves to the kingdom will last still for a long time, and Riyadh won’t refuse the policy of strengthening of oil export. This week Saudi Arabia placed state bonds for 20 billion reals ($5,3 billion). It is the second loan for this summer — the size June made 15 billion reals ($4 billion). The kingdom can attract $27 billion by the end of the current year. Money was necessary for saudita because of double falling of prices of oil, receipts from which export form almost all income of the country. Arayik Sargsyan, the President of Academy of Geopolitics, the academician, the Honourable Consul of Macedonia in Armenia.

Araik Sargsyan, academician
September 5th, 2015
12:09 PM
ANGLO-SAXONS ATTACKED CHINA. Expert assessment of Academy of Geopolitics. A little later the Bretton Woods system failed: On August 15, 1971 the U.S. President Richard Nixon in the performance on television declared that from now on gold providing dollar is cancelled. Besides, the dollar was devaluated significantly. And therefore quickly it was necessary to change a gold covering of dollar for not less valuable goods — on oil. Since 1973 the USA passed to «petrodollar». But they needed real oil stocks, for this operation. And here as here idea of the rokfellersky clerk – Henry Kissinger about transformation of Saudi Arabia into «tank» for providing oil a covering of paper dollar. The dollar, thanks to Kissinger’s councils and under the leadership of his boss N. Rockefeller, retained positions of world reserve currency. But in a basket of world reserve currencies, except US dollar the English pound, Swiss franc and Japanese yen already entered...Arayik Sargsyan, the President of Academy of Geopolitics, the academician, the Honourable Consul of Macedonia in Armenia.

sd goh
August 27th, 2015
1:08 PM
I remember, though only vaguely, reading somewhere (perhaps in Nixon's memoirs or elsewhere) what Kissinger said during one of his trips to China negotiating deals etc. with the Chinese government officials who would treat them to scrumptious multi-course meals when the Americans were there. Kissinger said that after a meal of Peking duck nobody would refuse to sign anything the Chinese wanted even though it is in their favor!

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