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World Order Hardcover – September 9, 2014
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Hillary Clinton, The Washington Post:
“It is vintage Kissinger, with his singular combination of breadth and acuity along with his knack for connecting headlines to trend lines — very long trend lines in this case. He ranges from the Peace of Westphalia to the pace of microprocessing, from Sun Tzu to Talleyrand to Twitter... A real national dialogue is the only way we’re going to rebuild a political consensus to take on the perils and the promise of the 21st century. Henry Kissinger’s book makes a compelling case for why we have to do it and how we can succeed.”
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Henry Kissinger’s new book, World Order, could not be more timely... the book puts the problems of today’s world and America’s role in that increasingly interconnected and increasingly riven world into useful — and often illuminating — context... Mr. Kissinger, now 91, strides briskly from century to century, continent to continent, examining the alliances and divisions that have defined Europe over the centuries, the fallout from the disintegration of nation-states like Syria and Iraq, and China’s developing relationship with the rest of Asia and the West. At its best, his writing functions like a powerful zoom lens, opening out to give us a panoramic appreciation of larger historical trends and patterns, then zeroing in on small details and anecdotes that vividly illustrate his theories."
The Financial Times
“Kissinger’s conclusion deserves to be read and understood by all candidates ahead of the 2016 presidential election. World order depends on it.”
John Micklethwait, The New York Times Book Review
“If you think America is doing just fine, then skip ahead to the poetry reviews. If, however, you worry about a globe spinning out of control, then World Order is for you. It brings together history, geography, modern politics and no small amount of passion. Yes, passion, for this is a cri de Coeur, from a famous skeptic, a warning to future generations from an old man steeped in the past... it is a book that every member of Congress should be locked in a room with--and forced to read before taking the oath of office."
James Traub, The Wall Street Journal
"Recent years have not been kind to those who believe in America's missionary role abroad. Since the terrorist attacks of 2001 upended our sense of the world, the United States has been governed by a conservative idealist who tried to impose American values on the Middle East, and failed calamitously, and a liberal idealist who invited America's adversaries to re-engage with us on the basis of a new humility and mutual respect, and found his hopes dashed. It is, in short, a moment for Henry Kissinger... The fact that he has written yet another book, the succinctly titled World Order, is impressive in itself. What is more remarkable is that it effectively carries on his campaign to undermine the romantic pieties of left and right that have shaped so much of American foreign policy over the past century. Mr. Kissinger bids fair to outlast many of the people who hate him and make others forget why they hated him in the first place."
Walter Isaacson, Time
“Kissinger’s book takes us on a dazzling and instructive global tour of the quest for order….The key to Kissinger’s foreign policy realism, and the theme at the heart of his magisterial new book, is that such humility is important not just for people but also for nations, even the U.S. Making progress toward a world order based on “individual dignity and participatory governance” is a lofty ideal, he notes. “But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediate stages.”
The Los Angeles Times
"Kissinger's geopolitical analysis of our global challenges is compelling... Mark Twain, who was known more for his sense of humor than his diplomatic skills, once said, "History does not repeat itself. But it rhymes." Kissinger's advice is not nearly as glib, but much more valuable to a country that right now seems to want the rest of the world to just go away."
Jacob Heilbrunn, The National Interest:
"Kissinger… demonstrates why he remains such a courted adviser to American presidents and foreign leaders alike…. [World Order is] a guide for the perplexed, a manifesto for reordering America’s approach to the rest of the globe. Kissinger’s vision could help to shape a more tranquil era than the one that has emerged so far.”
"An astute analysis that illuminates many of today's critical international issues."
About the Author
HENRY KISSINGER served as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and has advised many other American presidents on foreign policy. He received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Medal of Liberty, among other awards. He is the author of numerous books on foreign policy and diplomacy and is currently the chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm.
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Top Customer Reviews
it is imperative to a knowledge of the dynamics of Islam to understand the Sunni-Shia division. One could read a detailed work on that division, there are many solid works, but one can understand the basics in about one chapter of this book. if one is still interested, there are many other sources, deeper in content. In the same vein, the author's writings of the emergence of many Islamic players without a history of involvement in world order(s) is also enlightening and, unfortunately, disconcerting. Especially if these new actors become players, and some already are, in the arena of nuclear weapons.
There is a very good compare and contrast of styles of leadership and views of world order by resort to detailed analysis of how three U.S. Presidents viewed these issues: Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR. Also, not surprisingly, the author is very complimentary of Nixon's role in world history and formation of order. There can be room for discussion of Nixon's presidency and persona, but only the most rabid disparaged of Nixon can deny his foreign policy acumen, and then hardly legitimately.
Finally, coming from one who readily admits his technology shortcomings, the author does an excellent job of posing the benefits and burdens of the internet age. It can well be argued, and between the lines he does argue, that the internet and tech explosion posits issues, problems and questions not thought through and for many new players in the world order issues, problems and questions they are not equipped to handle, at least for now.
Overall, a solid work by one with the "cred" to be able to demand being heeded about his thoughts on the issues on which he writes.
The book is very up-to-date including comments on ISIS and Ukraine crisis. His views on Middle East, Russia and Asia (China) do not deviate from the main themes he has articulated in his other writings, but more elaborative from the angle of legitimacy and power, including the impact of religion. If you are new to Kissinger's writings, you may find them resourceful, connecting the dots of all major historical events leading to where we are now.
Two additional comments: 1) there is NO chapter at all on Latin America and Africa, which may disappoint some readers interested in these two regions. The book is focused on World Order, and as a traditional realist, Kissinger not surprisingly focused on the power centres which will most likely shape the world order or even turn it upside down. Neither Latin America nor Africa is considered having the power of this magnitude; 2) for readers who do not read a lot on history (especially European history since Thirty Years' War) and/or closely follow up the current affairs, you may find this book too advanced and may take longer time to absorb the knowledge and understand the logic in the book.
Overall, I have great respect for this senior statesman in his 80s, who is still trying his best to contribute to the world order by connecting the past to the present, then projecting the future! His record may be subject to debate, especially for those human rights activists who still consider him a war criminal. Nevertheless, his writings, despite all of these charges, have been influential and remain so in the foreseeable future. You will understand why they are so influential if you read them.