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White House Years Hardcover – October, 1979


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1521 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (October 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316496618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316496612
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 2.5 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The book is a real weighty tome, written by a great mind; I love it.
Rob Annis
These deliberations led to the most spectacular diplomatic initiative of our time: Nixon's historic trip to The Peoples Republic of China!
Harold Y. Grooms
The whole book is unsentimental, convincing and will appeal to the liberal or conservative reader.
David Fourer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Raymond R. Rubino rrrsecnavy@erienet.net on October 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Kissinger's book is a must read for those wishing to gain insight into the politics of the diplomatic process. He takes great pains to be fair in his assessment of a number of personalities from President Nixon, to Indira Gandi. Self-observations are modest to the point of self-deprecation. The chapters in which he chronicles the Nixon Administration's involvement in the Vietnam War is worth the price of the book. Mr. Kissinger's observation of this tumultuous time in our history is candid, sometimes sad, but scholarly without being pedantic. I highly recommend this book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Harold Y. Grooms on January 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The title of this review stems from an ancient Chinese proverb. Henry A. Kissinger's book, White House Years is the first of a three-volume trilogy that covers his remarkable career. This initial book begins with his appointment as National Security Advisor to Richard M. Nixon January 1969, and ends with the initialing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. Kissinger lets the reader know early on, they were under no illusions their journey would be easy or joyous.

He paints a vivid picture of Lyndon Johnson at Nixon's inauguration. If a political heavyweight like L.B.J. could be humbled by (sic) "Veetnam" no one could expect an easy time. Nixon, who had made a career of exhorting political opponents to, "Get tough with the Communists," now had his turn. He would either succeed where his predecessors had failed, or share L.B.J.s fate.

A series of opportunities to "get tough" with the Communists soon followed. The Soviets continued to harass Berlin; the Strateg!ic Arms Limitation (SALT) Talks provided critics from the right and left; West German leader Willie Brandt's Ostpolitik threatened the cohesion of the Atlantic Alliance and the Soviets' establishment of a submarine base at Cienfuegos, Cuba created a situation reminiscent of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Also, the election of Salvador Allende in Chile threatened to introduce a second, Communist state into the Western Hemisphere. Elsewhere, a crisis was brewing between India and Pakistan, and the powder keg in the Middle East threatened to explode at any time.

All these things occurred while the bulk of our military forces were mired in a seemingly endless stalemate in Vietnam that was tearing our nation apart and steadily draining both our coffers and our national resolve.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr Bassil A MARDELLI on March 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Kissinger is a German-born origin, now American Politician. There were countless attacks from left, right and center on the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Perhaps his German background prompted a writer in the ""Nation"" to draw a resemblance between Kissinger and Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Nazi foreign minister. (Couldn't they ever forget?)
In his memoirs, Kissinger alludes to the years he served as National Security adviser and one can fathom a touch of boasting on how much, in the eyes of many observers, his initiatives and allure was the main rescuing feature of an otherwise disastrous administration (Watergate!!).
His appointment as Secretary of State aroused not only favorable editorials; there was a great deal of unfriendly comment as well. Some reflected envy and grudging ill-will; there must have been many political gurus firmly convinced that they would have been able to do as good, and even a much effective, job than Kissinger.

During his time in the Nixon and Ford administrations he cut a showy personality like brightly colored movie stars, appearing at social occasions with many celebrities and in his pictures he appeared very much in joy at such occasions; at times his name was transfused to "'Henri the Kiss"" something like a sex reference, didn't he say "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac?"" Very few photos show him frowning; otherwise his face has always been smiley. His foreign policy record made him the feared goddess of vengeance to the anti-war groups as well as to the anti-communists.

His memoirs portrays him as the devout advocate of ""Realpolitik"", and tell us how far the man played a dominant role in USA foreign policies between 1969 and 1973.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David Fourer on January 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started this book on a whim in a coffee shop and soon decided to read all 1,475 pages (which required buying the book!) Kissinger has an amazing story to tell and writes exceptionally well. He gives vivid descriptions of encounters with world leaders and of Washington politics. His reflections range over history, politics, culture in many countries, war, and US policy.

He is full of surprises, sharp-edged, hilarious, philosophical, and always authoritative. Professor Kissinger doesn't use fancy words. He is never aloof. His purpose is to make the material understandable. Some passages about negotiations have perhaps more detail than one really wants.

The last four years of the Viet Nam war figure prominently in the book. Nixon and Kissinger's insistence on winding down the war slowly over four years is controversial. The whole book is unsentimental, convincing and will appeal to the liberal or conservative reader. It is also a revealing study of the "Cold War", including Nixon's trip to China, the Middle East, the SALT treaty, European relations, war between India and Pakistan, and more.
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