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Years of Upheaval Paperback – June 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1298 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson History (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842120360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842120361
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,995,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Henry Kissinger, former National Security Adviser, Secretary of State and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, lives in New York City

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Harold Y. Grooms on April 9, 2001
This second volume of Henry Kissinger's memoirs begins with Nixon's sweeping victory in the 1972 presidential election over George McGovern. Nixon/Kissinger, now operating with an overwhelming national mandate initiated some of the most formidable foreign policy initiatives in history. Success seemed inevitable. However, there was a cancer growing on the Nixon presidency, one that would ultimately prove fatal; it was called, "Watergate."
The Nixon/Kissinger team did the seemingly impossible by negotiating an end to the war in Vietnam. Sadly, after Congress refused further support to South Vietnam, all they could do was watch as the Communists systematically violated every agreement solemnly sworn to in Paris. His description of the strange alliance between liberals and conservatives to hamstring the presidency is interesting. George Wallace said, "Politics makes strange bedfellows!" Never were, "bedfellows," so strange as here.
The crisis in the Mid-east made the author a legend in his own time. He describes the key leaders and analyzes their positions and motivations brilliantly. From these analyses, the famous, "shuttle diplomacy" that forged a peace agreement between the seemingly intractable parties was born. Students of international relations should read this section carefully.
Not all was well. The Year of Europe, the Arab oil-embargo, and the decline of détente were all seen during this period. Regrettably, all probably could have been accomplished except for Watergate.
Kissinger shows how Watergate steadily sapped the presidents' base of support, preventing him from operating effectively. Congress, the media, and even some members of his own cabinet eventually turned on him.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In this continuing memoir, Henry Kissinger writes of his experiences of his transition from National Security Advisor to Secretary of State during a point in the Nixon Administration that represented the greatest constitutional crisis in America since the Civil War. Starting with the beginning of Richard Nixon's second term, Kissinger goes into stunning detail by describing the immense frustrations in trying to stop the war, not only with Vietnam, but also with Cambodia and Laos. He goes on to discuss "The Year of Europe", a soon to be defunct policy about American action in Europe in 1973. Naturally, the Year of Europe was mortally wounded by Watergate. The Watergate scandal politically forced Nixon to make Kissinger, one of the most Popular people in America, The New Secretary of State. In that role, Kissinger continued and extended his influence in such matters as SALT, and a hugely surprising war between Israel and an Egyptian-Syrian coalition. He discusses his gradual high respect for Anwar Sadat, and his mother-son like relationship with Golda Meir. Most importantly, he discusses his interactions with the soon to resign Richard Nixon. This book does its best work by teaching respect for foreign policy leaders who are in almost impossible positions and who must find a way to make their country safer in the world.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ron Kozar on January 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
What I most enjoyed about this book were (1) Kissinger's analyses of leaders and diplomats like Sadat, Meir, Dayan, Mao, and Chou (the last of whom he seems to admire the most), (2) his humor, as when he describes his dinner with King Faisal or how he missed the TV announcement about his appointment as Secretary of State, and (3) his candid portrayal of Nixon, who comes off as awkward and bizarre. Kissinger's own egomania is very much in evidence, but in a way that is entertaining rather than irritating, because you can tell that he is not trying very hard to conceal it.
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