by Walter Isaacson
Published in January 1992
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
My main criticism of this book is that it doesn’t spend enough time on Kissinger’s policies and ideas, but instead focuses on Kissinger’s personality. The author very clearly is a political opponent of Kissinger, and misrepresents many of Kissinger’s ideas and policies based off the works I’ve read written by Kissinger.
The book, being written in 1992, is also a bit out of date, although there is nothing that can be done about that.
The life of Henry Kissinger is very interesting. He was a Jewish refugee who fled his homeland in Germany to escape the holocaust. He went to school, and studied harder than all of his peers. After high school, he enrolled in the army during the tail end of WW2, and returned to Germany where he served as a non-combatant soldier.
When he returned, he rapidly rose in the ranks of academia as a top professor. He used his academic position to meet politicians and celebrities, and eventually met Nelson Rockefeller. When Rockefeller was defeated by Nixon, Kissinger was absorbed into Nixon’s transition team.
Almost immediately, Kissinger rose to prominence within the Nixon administration, eventually becoming secretary of state.
I don’t really recommend this book. Although the topic is fascinating, there are many things that annoy me about it. Its way too long and repetitive, however because the writing is good and the topic interesting I give it a 3/5.
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