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Kissinger’s Crises

Christopher Serpell, 20 December 1979

The White House Years 
by Henry Kissinger.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 1476 pp., £14.95
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... In spite of its length – 1,476 pages of text, concerning only the first four years of Dr Kissinger’s life inside US government – and the immensely detailed coverage of events which that length implies, The White House Years is hard to lay aside. This quality of readability will come as a surprise to those who have tackled the turgid prose of some of Dr Kissinger’s earlier works, which combined the worst excesses of the American academic style with an uncertain approach to the English language ...


John Kenneth Galbraith, 6 March 1986

by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 220 pp., £12.95, February 1986, 0 00 217584 3
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... And let Americans ponder also the Jenkins example. There should be a matching of talents. Henry Kissinger should have written about, say, Lloyd George, Enoch Powell or, perhaps now, Anthony Wedgwood Benn. And Jimmy Carter, forgetting his own unhappy passage, should have turned to, say, Alec ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: Milosevic is delivered to the Hague, 19 July 2001

... us any closer to the day when an International Criminal Court can arrange for the appearance of Henry Kissinger, say, or Jonas Savimbi, or Ariel Sharon, after drawing up the rather straightforward indictments in each case. That’s interesting, too. Indeed, it’s one of the big questions. It can be put in order to discredit the process in The ...

Forever Krystle

Nicholas Shakespeare, 20 February 1986

Watching ‘Dallas’: Soap Opera and the Melodramatic Imagination 
by Ien Ang, translated by Della Couling.
Methuen, 148 pp., £10.50, November 1985, 0 416 41630 6
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... son acts in the soap The Young and the Restless – has once appeared as himself. So, too, has Henry Kissinger. At a charity ball in Denver, Joan Collins wafts up to Kissinger with the greeting: ‘Henry, I haven’t seen you since Portofino.’ In the most far-reaching words of ...

Works of Art

Peter Lamarque, 2 April 1981

Art and Its Objects 
by Richard Wollheim.
Cambridge, 270 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 0 521 22898 0
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Works and Worlds of Art 
by Nicholas Wolterstorff.
Oxford, 372 pp., £20, December 1980, 0 19 824419 3
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... in the world of Huckleberry Finn? Wolterstorff has a keen eye for the logical conundrum. Suppose Henry Kissinger were to play the lead role in a play about Henry Kissinger. Would we have the same relation there between actor and character as we have between, say, an actor and Willie Loman in Death of a ...

Further Left

R.W. Johnson, 16 August 1990

Prepared for the worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Hogarth, 357 pp., £9.99, July 1990, 0 7012 0903 8
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Blood, Class and Nostalgia: Anglo-American Ironies 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 398 pp., £18, July 1990, 0 7011 3361 9
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... to as ‘a sycophant’. He is similarly tough with Stanley Hoffman for being too respectful of Henry Kissinger. Hitchens is at his best when on the attack. He can’t stand Cyril Connolly, whom he sees as a precious old reactionary: ‘another dose of the familiar compound ... some rackety travelling, a tincture of furtive sex (with much sniggering ...

In the bright autumn of my senescence

Christopher Hitchens, 6 January 1994

In the Heat of the Struggle: Twenty-Five Years of ‘Socialist Worker’ 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 288 pp., £12.50, November 1993, 0 906224 94 2
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Why You Should Join the Socialists 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 70 pp., £1.90, November 1993, 0 906224 80 2
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... Jimmy Carter put it very gruffly, when he said that both America and Vietnam had suffered equally. Henry Kissinger, in his memoir Years of Upheaval, phrased it even more prettily: ‘Hanoi and Washington had inflicted grievous wounds on each other; theirs were physical, ours psychological and thus perhaps harder to heal.’ This connects perfectly to the ...

A chemistry is performed

Deborah Friedell: Silicon Valley Girl, 7 February 2019

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup 
by John Carreyrou.
Picador, 320 pp., £9.99, March 2019, 978 1 5098 6808 7
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... recipe for Coca-Cola. And she formed a corporate board ready to go to war with Quest and LabCorp: Henry Kissinger; Sam Nunn, who had served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; George Shultz, the former secretary of state, one of the begetters of the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war; William Perry, the former US secretary of defence; James ...

I met murder on the way

Colin Kidd: Castlereagh, 24 May 2012

Castlereagh: Enlightenment, War and Tyranny 
by John Bew.
Quercus, 722 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 0 85738 186 6
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... side of human nature. And it certainly doesn’t help that his principal modern apologist is Henry Kissinger, another supposed friend of tyrants, who built his later career as an exponent of realpolitik on the intellectual foundations of his Harvard doctorate, published as A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace ...

Losing the War

Robert Dallek, 23 November 1989

A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam 
by Neil Sheehan.
Cape, 861 pp., £15.95, April 1989, 0 224 02648 8
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... to defeat the insurgency during the seven years between 1965 and 1972, Vann hoped that the Nixon-Kissinger strategy of Vietnamisation, which Kissinger attributed to Vann, would allow South Vietnam to become the autonomous country the United States had aimed to create from the start of its involvement in the fighting. By ...

Against it

Ross McKibbin, 24 February 1994

For the Sake of Argument 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Verso, 353 pp., £19.95, May 1993, 0 86091 435 6
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... they tell you things you did not know and are unlikely to find out in more conventional quarters. Henry Kissinger is Hitchens’s pet loathing and the catalogue of his doings an essential element in Hitchens’s analysis of the American state. The essays on Kissinger should be read with ‘Songs Fit for Heroes’, a ...

Small nations, take heed

Andrew Bacevich: Hanoi’s War, 7 February 2013

Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam 
by Lien-Hang Nguyen.
North Carolina, 444 pp., £29.95, July 2012, 978 0 8078 3551 7
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... events did not accord with the expectations contained in the text that the chief negotiators Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho had signed in Paris. Yet the ‘war for peace’ did not in fact end in failure, if only because peace was never the objective. None of the protagonists actually sought peace, at least not in the commonly accepted sense of the ...

Use Your Illusions

Slavoj Žižek: Obama’s Victory and the Financial Meltdown, 20 November 2008

... disavowed racism will re-emerge? – was proved wrong. One of the interesting things about Henry Kissinger, the ultimate cynical Realpolitiker, is how utterly wrong most of his predictions were. When news reached the West of the 1991 anti-Gorbachev military coup, for example, Kissinger immediately accepted the ...

Omnipresent Eye

Patrick Wright: The Nixon/Mao Show, 16 August 2007

Seize the Hour: When Nixon Met Mao 
by Margaret MacMillan.
Murray, 384 pp., £25, October 2006, 0 7195 6522 7
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... considered typical of an ancient Chinese emperor, he summoned them in the afternoon. Nixon, Henry Kissinger and an aide called Winston Lord quickly got into a limousine with Zhou and set off, leaving Bob Haldeman, the White House chief of staff, frantic with worry over their security. They entered Mao’s house, finding it ‘simple and ...

Big enough to deter

Jeff McMahan, 15 April 1982

Nuclear Illusion and Reality 
by Solly Zuckerman.
Collins, 154 pp., £7.50, January 1982, 0 00 216554 6
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... he offers for remaining in Nato consists in producing an opaque and irrelevant quotation from Henry Kissinger. It is an annoying feature of the book that Zuckerman often dodges the necessity of providing reasons for his beliefs by simply quoting authorities. Zuckerman’s only positive argument for retaining the deterrent is that, as an instance of a ...

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