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Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman
Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman
Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman
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Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman

Scris de Greg Grandin

Povestit de Brian O'Neill

Evaluare: 3.5 din 5 stele

3.5/5

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A new account of America's most controversial diplomat that moves beyond praise or condemnation to reveal Kissinger as the architect of America's current imperial stance. In his fascinating new book, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin argues that to understand the crisis of contemporary America - its never-ending wars abroad and political polarization at home - we have to understand Henry Kissinger.

Examining Kissinger's own writings as well as a wealth of newly declassified documents, Grandin reveals how Richard Nixon's top foreign policy advisor, even as he was presiding over defeat in Vietnam and a disastrous, secret, and illegal war in Cambodia, was helping to revive a militarized version of American exceptionalism centered on an imperial presidency. Believing that reality could be bent to his will, insisting that intuition is more important in determining policy than hard facts, and vowing that past mistakes should never hinder future bold action, Kissinger anticipated, even enabled the ascendance of the neoconservative idealists who took America into crippling wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Going beyond accounts focusing on either Kissinger's crimes or accomplishments, Grandin offers a compelling new interpretation of the diplomat's continuing influence on how the United States views its role in the world.

LimbăEnglish
Data lansării25 aug. 2015
ISBN9781490691831
Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman
Autor

Greg Grandin

Greg Grandin is the author of The End of the Myth, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and Fordlandia, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His widely acclaimed books also include The Last Colonial Massacre, Kissinger's Shadow, and The Empire of Necessity, which won the Bancroft and Beveridge awards in American history. He is Peter V. and C. Van Woodward Professor of History at Yale University.

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Evaluare: 3.4444444444444446 din 5 stele
3.5/5

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  • Evaluare: 2 din 5 stele
    2/5
    Only if you have a compulsive desire to re-argue the Vietnam War or delight in witnessing the character assassination of a person that does not fit into your idea of political correctness, will you enjoy this book. If, like me, you get riled up when pseudo historian leftists skew facts and have the audacity to cite opinions by like-minded sources as factual bases, you will not like it. They feed on their own illusions. And if you find voluminous footnotes and end notes that often ramble off in all directions and seem more likely designed to conceal sources than act as cites, you will be doubly displeased. Grandin is obsessed with the military incursion into Cambodia and Laos in 1970 and identifies it as the defining act of Kissinger’s life and the precedent for all the ensuing evils of the world. He repeatedly goes back to it throughout the book and contends that it was a criminal act and that Henry Kissinger was its architect and personally directed the operation. If it was a criminal act, then landing marines on the Barbary Coast, the Mexican War, Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa in 1916 and even Abraham Lincoln’s invasion of the Commonwealth of Virginia ought to be considered criminal acts. Grandin also displays great naivety when he assumes that bombing mission planning consists of giving a pilot a new set of target coordinates and it can be done from a desk in Kissinger’s office. Targeting is far more complex and entails such things as fuel loads, munitions carried, the location and placement of search and rescue assets and other considerations. With the tactical use of nuclear weapons, the countering of insurgencies throughout the free world was a major concern and shaper of military thinking in the 1950s and 60s. Mao Tse-tung wrote the treatise on guerrilla warfare-my copy is a translation by Samuel Griffith. Mao’s book provided the guidance for Hanoi on how to conduct its insurgency in the south. An important tenet of Mao’s thinking was the importance of sanctuaries for the rest, recoupment, re-equipment, and adjustment of tactical plans. Grandin assumes that the objective of the attack on the sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia was to destroy them and he correctly states that the effort was futile. But the objective was equally aimed at the concept of sanctuaries, especially those that depended on international borders as an integral part of their defense. No leader of an insurgency including its manifestation as terrorism has successfully used national boundaries as a defensive perimeter since. Kissinger, Mao and von Clausewitz share an opinion regarding the inseparability of politics and war. Grandin obviously feels there must be a sharp division between them with politics/diplomacy conducted by genteel academics according to idealistic principles. The world does not work that way and Grandin cannot wish it into existence. He neither cites Mao or von Clausewitz or compares or contrasts their views with Kissinger’s although the parallels are apparent and glaring. Grandin also virtually ignores Machiavelli except for a passing mention near the end of the book and yet the shadow of Machiavelli as the evil genius behind a hapless ruler seems to be his model for Henry Kissinger. If Kissinger could have done everything that Grandin lays at his feet, he had as great or greater of an impact on history than Napoleon. The book might be a good op ed piece in the liberal press but it is a poor history or biography. To paraphrase what Kissinger once said, ”Other than that, I assume you liked it.” I did not.
  • Evaluare: 4 din 5 stele
    4/5
    I have read several of Grandin's books. I am always a fan of history that does not attempt to gloss over the blowback that is caused by the actions of our nation in foreign countries. Grandin is an expert at exposing such actions. In this book Grandin shows how America's foreign policy became one that is totally detached from the reality of the countries that we intend to influence. According to Grandin this began with Henry Kissinger. Kissinger was not interested in reality and facts--he had his own reality. Kissing