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PRICE OF POWER Paperback – May 18, 1984

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Princeton Paperback Printing edition (May 18, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671506889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671506889
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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70 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Bert Ruiz on January 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Only a handful of journalists in the nation have the credibility to write of book of this nature. To this end, Author Seymour Hersh puts his considerable reputation on the line and uses his powerful contacts in Washington to painstakingly document the shallow political and career motives of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.
Hersh does a tremendous service to America. He single-handedly destroys the myth that Nixon and Kissinger were dedicated to the swift end of the Vietnam war. To his credit, Hersh documents the formation of Nixon's secret "Madman" policy and how the President and Kissinger employed this risky strategy to prolong the war.
"The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House," is also a serious study of how certain key cabinet members that opposed the manipulation of foreign policy were quickly isolated and discredited. Hersch interviews key individuals that Kissinger personally recruited to work at the NSC to show how significant contributions to foreign policy was wrestled from the State Department and firmly established in the White House. The early consolidation of power by Nixon and Kissinger set the pattern for a long string of dark policy.
The secret bombing of Cambodia, the crisis in Korea, the SALT talks, the Mideast, Cuba, China, the Berlin settlement are all explored in this text. However, the most damaging information to the reputation of Henry Kissinger is how his secret information to the Nixon campaign during the Johnson administrations peace talks in Paris compromised any chance of reaching an early conclusion to the war. Hersh meticulously researches how Kissinger manipulates his contacts in Paris to circumvent the practice of conflict resolution by Lyndon Johnson.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Barry D. Smith on November 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
We all know that Nixon was a shady character, but after reading the Price of Power, I learned so much more about our former president.
The Price of Power reveals much about the Nixon-Kissinger administration that would shock most Americans. Focusing most of its attention on the Vietnam war, this book tells how Nixon/Kissinger basically detatched themselves from the rest of the U.S. government in order to do whatever they wanted throughout the world. It seemed as though Nixon/Kissinger based every decision they made on their future political survival. Hersh does a superb job of bring to light some of the truly darkest moments in U.S. History. He also shows us how Nixon-Kissinger were able to get their policies implemented by eliminating and and all opposition. They created such a strong executive with such little oversight that their leadership resembled that of a dictatorship.
After reading this, I felt ashamed to call myself an American. We strongly supported a president who was an alcoholic racist whose paranoia dictated much of his actions. I never realized just how close we came to using nuclear weapons in Vietnam (and this AFTER Nixon campaigned with his "Peace with Honor" slogan). We are quick to point to several leaders of the 20th century and label them "war criminals." By any definition, Nixon and Kissinger should be included on this list of war criminals. Disagree with me? read Price of Power. If, after doing so, you still disagree with me, you obviously did not read very carefully . . .
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on March 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
This account of the Nixon foreign policy is far better than Walter Isaacson's or Robert Dallek's. Hersh shows in detail how in July 1968 Nixon and Kissinger told President Thieu of South Vietnam to reject US calls to begin participating in peace talks. In doing so, they broke the US law against private citizens conducting diplomatic negotiations.

Throughout 1968, Nixon campaigned on a platform of ending the war, yet then escalated the war. Nixon and Kissinger always opposed unilateral withdrawal. They aimed to continue the US aggression against Vietnam until victory could be achieved. When they talked of an `honourable settlement', they meant one that achieved all the USA's aggressive war aims. More US soldiers would have to die so that the earlier deaths would not have been in vain, which, absurdly, equates to saving the dead.

Nixon and Kissinger cruelly indulged in sunshine talk about the war, promising the American people that one last push, one more invasion, would bring victory. But the truth was that the USA had lost. There was no alternative to withdrawal: their only choice was whether to end the war swiftly, or end it a bit later after killing yet more Vietnamese and having even more American soldiers killed pointlessly (20,000 were killed under Nixon).

Nixon and Kissinger never grasped that a quick exit from Vietnam would have helped, not undermined, US credibility. They never asked other governments what they thought about a speedy exit. Détente was just a cynical device to try to divide Vietnam from its allies, and it failed.

Nixon and Kissinger's policy towards Vietnam was a disaster, killing thousands of Americans, Vietnamese and Cambodians. They claimed that their policies were realistic and intelligent, but neither could see that the Vietnamese people were justly fighting for their national liberation. Nixon and Kissinger were not tragic, flawed heroes but despicable war criminals.
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