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Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power Paperback – October 30, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
This book brings back many memories, and as one who remembers RN as Vice President, the book also helps to make sense of some of the idiotic things he got himself into then, to such extent that Eisenhower was thinking of dropping RN from his second term ticket. I can vividly recall the mock election we ran in high school prior to the election between Nixon and Kennedy, and Nixon won.
Nixon is of course dead, but Kissinger is very much alive: would be interesting to know what Henry really thinks of this book. Has it indeed caused another kicking and ranting tantrum from him. Or does it mirror fact so accurately that he smiles and says, 'yes, that was exactly the way it was'. Only Henry knows about that, but for certain this book rings true for me, who lived each and every day these two were in office, joined at the waist, locked in a personal power struggle. The real tragedy for HK was due to his birth in Germany he could never be elected president, and you know that that was what he desired more than almost anything.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great primary research (e.g., diaries)...curiously, Dallek writes "Henry" instead of Kissinger in many of his sentences...always writes Nixon, never Richard.Published 26 days ago by dk dk
An enlightening take on these two high ego, paranoid individuals and a politicizing of such important events. A sad chapter in our history.Published 1 month ago by Seamus
Fascinating look into a fascinating relationship. Fabulous work.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I truly enjoyed Dallek's masterpiece. This is a cautionary tale for leaders who seek to abuse their office and Nixon was a master of suchPublished 13 months ago by Peter A. Nighswander
Overly detailed, a good editor could have said the same thing in half the pages. Also the author presented all the positive accomplishments of both Nixon and Kissinger in as... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ray Heyser
Robert Dallek is one of my favorite authors. His books always are well written, informative and entertaining. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Michael Lapelosa