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The Flawed Architect

Jussi M. Hanhimaki

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195172218
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849994 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172218.001.0001
The Flawed Architect

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Henry Kissinger dominated American foreign relations like no other figure in recent history. He negotiated an end to American involvement in the Vietnam War, opened relations with Communist China, and orchestrated détente with the Soviet Union. Yet he is also the man behind the secret bombing of Cambodia and policies leading to the overthrow of Chile's President Salvador Allende. This book paints a subtle, carefully composed portrait of America's most famous and infamous statesman. Drawing on extensive research from newly declassified files, the author follows Kissinger from his beginnings in the Nixon administration up to the current controversy fed by Christopher Hitchens over whether Kissinger is a war criminal. The reader is guided through White House power struggles and the debates behind the Cambodia and Laos invasions, the search for a strategy in Vietnam, the breakthrough with China, and the unfolding of Soviet-American détente. Here, too, are many other international crises of the period—the Indo-Pakistani War, the Yom Kippur War, the Angolan civil war—all set against the backdrop of Watergate. The author sheds light on Kissinger's personal flaws—he was obsessed with secrecy and bureaucratic infighting in an administration that self-destructed in its abuse of power—as well as his great strengths as a diplomat. We see Kissinger negotiating, threatening and joking with virtually all of the key foreign leaders of the 1970s, from Mao to Brezhnev and Anwar Sadat to Golda Meir. This well researched account brings to life the complex nature of American foreign policymaking during the Kissinger years.

Keywords: Henry Kissinger; American foreign relations; Vietnam War; Communist China; Soviet Union; Nixon; Watergate; Cambodia; Christopher Hitchens; war criminal

Book.  576 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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Table of Contents

The Aspiring Statesman in The Flawed Architect

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Bombs and Back Channels in The Flawed Architect

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Progress and Promise in The Flawed Architect

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Crises and Opportunities in The Flawed Architect

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Breakthroughs in The Flawed Architect

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