- Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143121316
- ISBN-13: 978-0143121312
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 285 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On China Reprint Edition
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“Fascinating, shrewd… [The book’s] portrait of China is informed by Mr. Kissinger’s intimate firsthand knowledge of several generations of Chinese leaders. The book deftly traces the rhythms and patterns in Chinese history…even as it explicates the philosophical differences that separate it from the United States.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Nobody living can claim greater credit than Mr. Kissinger for America's 1971 opening to Beijing, after more than two decades of estrangement, and for China's subsequent opening to the world. So it's fitting that Mr. Kissinger has now written On China, a fluent, fascinating…book that is part history, part memoir and above all an examination of the premises, methods and aims of Chinese foreign policy.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Fascinating… In On China, statesman Henry Kissinger draws on historical records and 40 years of direct interaction with four generations of Chinese leaders to analyze the link between China’s ancient past and its present day trajectory. In doing so, the man who helped shape modern East-West relations presents an often unsettling, occasionally hopeful and always compelling accounting of what we’re up against.”—The Chicago Sun-Times
“Fascinating… No living American has played a more important role than Henry Kissinger, the former national security adviser and secretary of state, in bringing about the historic rapprochement between the United States and China. … [Kissinger] draw[s] deep insights into China's traumatic encounter with much stronger Western powers.”—The San Francisco Chronicle
“On China, Kissinger's 13th book, blends an incisive strategic analysis of the moves and countermoves of China, the United States and the former Soviet Union with telling vignettes about his meetings with Chinese Communist Party leaders… entertaining.”—The Los Angeles Times
“No one can lay claim to so much influence on the shaping of foreign policy over the past 50 years as Henry Kissinger.”—The Financial Times
“From the eminent elder statesman, an astute appraisal on Chinese diplomacy from ancient times to the fraught present “strategic trust” with the United States. Former Secretary of State Kissinger brings his considerable scholarly knowledge and professional expertise to this chronicle of the complicated evolution and precarious future of Chinese diplomacy with the West. … Sage words and critical perspective lent by a significant participant in historical events.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Henry Kissinger served as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Medal of Liberty, among other awards.
Top customer reviews
As someone who has studied and lived in China, though after the periods referred to in the book for the most part, I find many of his explanations and analysis to be worthy of serious consideration and based on historical fact with consideration of the ancient and modern Chinese consciousness. Do I agree with everything? No. This book would have been too tame and timid if every statement expressed in its pages were wholly supported by all readers.
I anticipate, from a quick scan of other reviews, that some will find the author rather laudatory towards several of the Chinese leaders mentioned. He does show respect, something the American republic is often hesitant to do towards any foreign leader or even our own; however, you will find he writes with similar respect towards American leaders of similar time periods and it is impossible to write clear facts in some cases, without it being assumed that credit is being given.
The author has a very well realized concept of the stumbling blocks, cultural tripping points and shear weight of history that face any combination of leaders from China and the U.S. as they try to step forward into the future. In many cases, it seems that he is refraining from judgement or attempting to put forth facts that the general public with its media pipeline of information, may not have considered. One must read this book for its value as a statement of viewpoint and personally experienced event, understood from one man’s perspective. It is useful, in and of itself; all accounts of history have a perspective unique to the telling and the study of what it perceived or advertised is nearly as important as the event themselves. Consider Ramesses II and his carving commemorating the defeat of the Hittites at Kadesh.
The author's rendition of how President Nixon opened up China, and the progress of the relation ship since that time, is an absolute necessity to read for anyone interested in politics, history, foreign affairs, China, or the world. How the Americans and the Chinese went from an antagonistic relationship to one of friendship, at least at the national interest level, is fascinating. Mr. Kissinger's comments on Mao and his numerous meetings with him is equally interesting.
On China never lags. Not once did I lose interest in the book or any section of the book. Mr. Kissinger's writing style is very smooth. Not at all pedantic or overbearing. The genius of On China is that it handles so much so easily. After explaining thousands of years of Chinese history the book proceeds to the modern era, the opening of China by Nixon, then the transition from Mao and the cultural revolution to China's modern day leadership. All this is bundled into one very interesting story. Mr. Kissinger's insights on the future relationship of China and the US is also critical reading. Anyone wanting to look into the future of the world should read this book. By the way, the book is very up to date as Mr. Kissinger carries the story right up to the present day.
I loved the book and highly recommend it.