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How would Richelieu and Mazarin have coped?

R.W. Johnson: Henry Kissinger, 20 September 2001

The Trial of Henry Kissinger 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Verso, 159 pp., £15, May 2001, 1 85984 631 9
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... In this short book, Christopher Hitchens sets down the main charges against Kissinger: murder, violation of human rights and complicity in mass atrocities on a scale equalled only by Eichmann, Heydrich and the like. As Hitchens admits, he isn’t the first: Joseph Heller in Good as Gold was as blunt about it all as it was possible to be ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Stirrers Up of Strife, 17 March 2016

... a debate on 12 February when he took up Hillary Clinton’s laudatory review of the latest book by Henry Kissinger. ‘I happen to believe,’ he said, ‘that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country. I am proud to say that ...

Rug Time

Jonathan Steinberg, 20 October 1983

KissingerThe Price of Power 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 699 pp., £15, October 1983, 0 571 13175 1
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... four or five times to make sure that he got it right. He went through the memoirs of Nixon and Kissinger with a microscope and compared them with his own findings. He used the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to government documents and had, of course, the huge pile of documents left by the various Watergate investigations, prosecutions and ...

Red Rover

Clare Hollingworth, 4 February 1982

At the Barricades: The Memoirs of a Rebel Journalist 
by Wilfred Burchett.
Quartet, 341 pp., £10.95, May 1981, 0 7043 2214 5
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... When Henry Kissinger was eating break-fast with Wilfred Burchett in the West Wing of the White House, he little knew that his guest had travelled ‘illegally’ to Washington. As an Australian whose government refused to issue him a passport, he was using North Vietnamese identity documents and was only authorised to circulate within 20 miles of the United Nations Headquarters in New York ...

Sucking up to P

Greg Grandin: Henry Kissinger’s Vanity, 29 November 2007

Nixon and KissingerPartners in Power 
by Robert Dallek.
Allen Lane, 740 pp., £30, August 2007, 978 0 7139 9796 5
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Henry Kissinger and the American Century 
by Jeremi Suri.
Harvard, 368 pp., £18.95, July 2007, 978 0 674 02579 0
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... Henry Kissinger’s realpolitik, with its moral relativism and easy acceptance of American limits, is often contrasted with the neocon evangelism that took off after the attacks of 9/11. Kissinger had long served as a foil for the New Right. The secretary of state ‘sounds like Churchill’ but ‘acts like Chamberlain’, Norman Podhoretz wrote in 1976 ...

Middle Eastern Passions

Keith Kyle, 21 February 1980

The Palestinians 
by Jonathan Dimbleby.
Quartet, 256 pp., £12.50, September 1980, 0 7043 2205 6
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The Rabin Memoirs 
by Yitzhak Rabin.
Weidenfeld, 272 pp., £10, November 1980, 0 297 77546 4
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... pretext.’ Rabin describes himself as a loner, not given to small talk or easy confidences. To Henry Kissinger ‘he possessed few of the attributes commonly associated with diplomacy,’ and he sees in himself a ‘tendency towards withdrawal’. But his natural taciturnity sometimes conceals a build-up of high tensions. There is the episode of his ...

Don’t be a Kerensky!

David Runciman: Kissinger looks for his prince, 3 December 2020

The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World 
by Barry Gewen.
Norton, 452 pp., £22.99, April 2020, 978 1 324 00405 9
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Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography 
by Thomas Schwartz.
Hill and Wang, 548 pp., £27.99, September 2020, 978 0 8090 9537 7
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... to persuade him to temper his unhealthy lifestyle, they used to point out how awful it would be if Henry Kissinger outlived him. Hitchens spent years pursuing Kissinger in print – and sometimes in person – for his assorted war crimes. He wanted to see him prosecuted at The Hague. Failing that, wouldn’t it be worth ...


David Gilmour, 1 June 1989

Prepared for the worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 357 pp., £15.95, April 1989, 0 7011 3459 3
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... envenomed pen. As these essays indicate, he is much better at dealing with the monstrous legacy of Henry Kissinger than scoffing at poor Bill Rodgers of the SDP (as he and it then were). And Britain was also constricting, especially if you were a radical left-wing journalist with an upper-class accent and a taste for good port. You could always affect a ...


Christopher Hitchens: Men (and Women) of the Year, 14 December 1995

... by Barbara Walters. The ‘humanitarian’ award goes to Diana Spencer and will be presented by Henry Kissinger. In other words, a single well-placed grenade could remove the whole beating heart of the international celebrity industry, along with its most servile and deferential interviewer and promoter: Barbara Walters, doyenne of drool and sultana of ...

Done Deal

Christopher Hitchens: Nixon in China, 5 April 2001

A Great Wall: Six Presidents and China 
by Patrick Tyler.
PublicAffairs, 512 pp., £11.99, September 2000, 1 58648 005 7
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... Henry Luce​ – who coined the catchphrase about ‘the American Century’ – once said that the crucial event of that century would be the Christianisation of China. He meant the Protestant evangelisation of China; it would have been no less absurd to propose the conversion of the Chinese to Judaism, but there was a time when millions of American homes gave little subscriptions for the cause, and when the prestige of the American missionary stood high ...

Lying abroad

Fred Halliday, 21 July 1994

by Henry Kissinger.
Simon and Schuster, 912 pp., £25, May 1994, 9780671659912
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True Brits: Inside the Foreign Office 
by Ruth Dudley Edwards.
BBC, 256 pp., £16.99, April 1994, 0 563 36955 8
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Mandarin: The Diaries of Nicholas Henderson 
by Nicholas Henderson.
Weidenfeld, 517 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 297 81433 8
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... media. As we now know, much more was offered by way of American support than appeared at the time. Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy is a very different kind of book, a study of two hundred years of international politics and of attempts to manage it. In essence, this is a set of lectures on the history of international relations combined with a vindication ...

When Kissinger spied for Russia

Phillip Knightley, 11 July 1991

Cold Warrior. James Jesus Angleton: The CIA’s Master Spy Hunter 
by Tom Mangold.
Simon and Schuster, 403 pp., £17.99, May 1991, 9780671699307
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... Harold Wilson, Olaf Palme, Willy Brandt, Armand Hammer, Averell Harriman, Lester Pearson and Henry Kissinger. They also included every Soviet defector who had come after him. These men had been sent, Golitsyn said, to discredit him because the KGB knew how dangerous he was to their master plan. By the time he got round to the case of ...

I could have fancied her

Angela Carter, 16 February 1989

Beauty in History: Society, Politics and Personal Appearance c. 1500 to the Present 
by Arthur Marwick.
Thames and Hudson, 480 pp., £18.95, September 1988, 0 500 25101 0
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... Or perhaps Ms Dickinson is simply more prepared to acknowledge the complications than, say, Henry Kissinger, or any other of the ill-favoured middle-aged men of wealth, status and power who enjoy the company of attractive younger women. But Ms Dickinson, come off it! is far prettier than ...

Sleepless Afternoons

Avi Shlaim, 25 February 1993

The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel 
by George Ball and Douglas Ball.
Norton, 382 pp., £17.95, January 1993, 0 393 02933 6
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... devoted friends in America would admit that she is not the most gracious or grateful of partners. Henry Kissinger, a leading advocate of the strategic partnership with Israel, had this to say on Israeli negotiating tactics: ‘In the combination of single-minded persistence and convoluted tactics, the Israelis preserve in the interlocutor only those last ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Flirtation, Seduction and Betrayal, 5 September 2002

... over forty – ‘make the best subjects,’ which would explain the contents (James Hewitt to Henry Kissinger by way of Geoffrey Boycott, Charlton Heston, Dave Lee Travis and Norman Tebbit), but you have to wonder how much of a coincidence it is that men over forty not only ‘make the best subjects’ but also make the best Telegraph ...

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