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Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power Paperback – October 30, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060722312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060722319
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,249,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This abridged version of Dallek's study of the relationship between a president and his powerful secretary of state is read with precision by Conger. Dallek approved the audiobook's abridgment, which hits the high points of his 750-page doorstopper. Conger hints at imitating the deeply familiar voices of Dallek's twin protagonists without sliding into all-out parody. He drops his voice to a semigrowl for Nixon and adds a muted Central European flavor for Kissinger. For the most part, Conger hits the expected notes, emphasizing and underlining Dallek's narrative with understated flair. Those expecting spine-tingling excitement from the meeting and collision of these two powerful, ultimately destructive political forces may be disappointed by Conger's staid reading, but its allure lies in its solid, unobtrusive nature. Conger pulls listeners into Nixon and Kissinger's struggle by ceding center stage to them.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Armed with voluminous new source material, presidential historian Robert Dallek delivers a comprehensive view of a profoundly influential political duo. Because of their importance, very little in Nixon and Kissinger is new. But that doesn't deter reviewers from praising Dallek for this intelligent, wide-ranging synthesis. The author of the best-selling An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917?1963 (***1/2 Sept/Oct 2003) and a two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, Dallek details the personal motivations behind Nixon's and Kissinger's public and private machinations, a technique that fascinates most reviewers. A few critics want more political context, but most seem satisfied with this riveting, fleshed-out story of a fascinating time in American history.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Robert Dallek is the author of Nixon and Kissinger, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, among other books. His writing has appeared in the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Vanity Fair. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, for which he served as president in 2004-2005. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

Great book, worth reading the 623 pages!
Bruce E. Rakowski
Dallek seems intent on proving that Nixon was unfit, but the evidence does not exist - it is all specualtion and rumor.
Sherringford Clark
Dallek does not provide the new information that Hoff thought would cast more light on some of her subjects.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Richard Cumming on April 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Robert Dallek is a presidential biographer withour peer. He has written about LBJ, JFK, and Ronald Reagan. This could be his best yet.

Dallek examines the partnership of two men who had much in common as well as incredible differences. Both Nixon and Kissinger had difficult childhoods. Nixon grew up poor in California. Kissinger fled the Nazis. Both men dreamed of better days. Each man possessed an outsized ego.

Dallek was able to obtain some incredible new insights into their relationship. Transcripts of phone conversations that Kissinger had had with thousands of people have recently become available to scholars. They shed light on what he really was thinking during those moments in history. Kissinger tried to suppress the release of these records until after his death. Like the Nixon tapes, these transcripts have come back to haunt Kissinger. Dallek interviewed Kissinger but he didn't get much out of it. Kissinger obviously wants to suppress knowledge of his role in the Nixon fiasco.

The Viet Nam War, diplomacy with China and the USSR, Watergate; it's all here. Neither man comes out looking too good. Dallek makes the case that Kissinger knew Nixon was incapacitated so badly as the Watergate scandal unfolded that Kissinger should have considered having Nixon removed from power under the aegis of the 25th Amendment. Kissinger failed to inform Congress that Nixon was incapable of running the country at that point. Kissinger had selfish reasons. If Nixon lost power then so did Kissinger. Power was the most important thing to both men. The imperial presidency of Richard Nixon has eerie parallels to our current administration. Today we also have an unpopular war, surveillance of those who oppose it, deep secrecy and paranoia.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There are several excellent books already in print by or about Richard M. Nixon and/or Henry A. Kissinger, notably Memoirs of Richard Nixon and Richard Reeves' President Nixon: Alone in the White House as well as Walter Isaacson's biography of Kissinger and The Kissinger Transcripts: The Top-Secret Talks With Beijing and Moscow. However, with access to a wealth of sources previously unavailable, Robert Dallek has written what will probably remain for quite some time the definitive study of one of U.S. history's most fascinating political partnerships.

I defer to other reviewers to suggest parallels between the wars in Viet Nam and Iraq, especially when citing this passage in Dallek's Preface: "Arguments about the wisdom of the war in Iraq and how to end the U.S. involvement there, relations with China and Russia, what to do about enduring Mideast trensions between Israelis and Arabs, and the advantages and disadvantages of an imperial presidency can, I believe, be usefully considered in the context of a fresh look ast Nixon and Kissinger and the power they wielded for good and ill."

Until reading Dallek's book, I was unaware of the nature and extent of what Nixon and Kissinger shared in common. Of greatest interest to me was the almost total absence of trust in others (including each other) as, separately and together, they sought to increase their power, influence, and especially, their prestige. In countless ways, they were especially petty men and, when perceiving a threat, could be vindictive. They seemed to bring out the worst qualities in each other, as during their self-serving collaboration on policies "good and ill" in relationships with other countries such as China, Russia, Viet Nam, Pakistan, and Chile.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nixon and Kissinger by esteemed presidential historian Dr. Robert Dallek is an excellent book! Dallek has the rare ability of an academic to write sparkling prose dealing with the complex relationship of President Nixon and his chief lieutenant in foreign affairs Henry Kissinger.

Dallek has had access to the thousands of tapes and communications between the two men. Nixon was born to a lower middle class family in California. He rose to power in the Senate in his prosecution of the Alger Hiss spy case. As Eisenhower's Vice President he was a cold warrior noted for his aggressiveness in ferreting out enemies. Following a loss in his race for President to JFK in 1960 and lossing to Goverenor Pat Brown in the 1962 California governor's race it was thought RN was a dead duck sinking below the stormy waves of the politcal pond. However, Nixon rebounded to win the 1968 presidential contest in a joust with Hubert Humphrey. Nixon promised to end the divisive war in Vietnam. Yet in his presidency 20,000 of the total of 50.000 US casualties would occur.

Henry Kissinger was a German Jew who immigrated to the US with the rise of Hitler. He served in the US Army in World War II; was an intellectual superstar and taught at Harvard.

Even though Kissinger had supported Nelson Rockefeller the moderate Republican for President he accepted the invitation from President Nixon to serve as the new administration's National Security Advisor.

Nixon and Kissinger were both brilliant; prickly and insensitive to the slightest criticism. Nixon despised the press. Both men loved secrecy and feared conspiracies against their power base.

The problems these two faced were immense.
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