Read Diplomacy: The History of Diplomacy and the Balance of Power by Henry Kissinger Free Online
Book Title: Diplomacy: The History of Diplomacy and the Balance of Power|
The author of the book: Henry Kissinger
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 651 KB
Edition: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Date of issue: April 1st 1994
ISBN 13: 9780671659912
Read full description of the books Diplomacy: The History of Diplomacy and the Balance of Power:Whatever one may think about Kissinger, he is an indispensable theorist of realpolitik, balance of power politics, and the national interest. I originally picked the book up because I wanted something that covered a large span of history and was written clearly and simply. The book did not let me down. What is accomplished in 850 odd pages? There are two major themes that run throughout the book: that countries have survived and prospered largely when they have been practitioners of realpolitik; but also, that leaders have performed best when balancing the necessities of survival in the international system with their own domestic needs (the converse of this is when leaders understand domestic needs in a way that allows them to work effectively in international politics). In a sense, then, the book creates some of the fabric for Lebow's A Cultural Theory of International Relations.
For some, his portrayal of international relations may be too simplistic. But there is something to be said for simplicity when it weaves over 200 years of diplomacy into a coherent narrative. In addition, the problems he explores in the post-cold war world (he wrote the chapter amazingly in 1994) in retrospect seem prescient. In part he says that the US will need to figure out whether it should be a beacon or a crusader (presumably of liberty and democracy). The country is now suffering the hangover of being a crusader and is now struggling to regain its stature as a beacon. The challenge he specifies-- for the US to find a national interest-- is now the one that the US is facing--if not overtly. He is even able to go beyond his realpolitik framework and identify the way the world may be progressing (in at least some ways) toward a post-soveriegnty, postnational, and in some areas supranational regions and issue areas. In this respect, Buzan and Weaver's Regions and Powers is a great complement to the book.
In terms of the issues Kissinger identifies in the last chapter, these problems have been explored fairly well in the pages of Foreign Affairs and International Security (see also the Cambridge Series in International Relations).
Read information about the authorHenry Alfred Kissinger (born Heinz Alfred Kissinger) is a German-born American bureaucrat, diplomat, and 1973 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the Richard Nixon administration. Kissinger emerged unscathed from the Watergate scandal, and maintained his powerful position when Gerald Ford became President.
A proponent of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a dominant role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente.
During his time in the Nixon and Ford administrations he cut a flamboyant figure, appearing at social occasions with many celebrities. His foreign policy record made him a nemesis to the anti-war left and the anti-communist right alike.
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