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The Trial of Henry Kissinger

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,530 ratings  ·  113 reviews
“His own lonely impunity is rank; it smells to heaven. If it is allowed to persist then we shall shamefully vindicate the ancient philosopher Anacharsis, who maintained that laws were like cobwebs; strong enough to detain only the weak, and too weak to hold the strong. In the name of innumerable victims known and unknown, it is time for justice to take a hand.”

With the det
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published May 17th 2001 by Verso (first published 2001)
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Erik Simon
The things you love deepest are inevitably bound to be the things that disappoint you most. Thus, America. I am nuts about this country in ways the shallow Right simply cannot comprehend. Therefore, when it disappoints me, it does so far more than Saddam Hussein's Iraq or Hitler's Germany or even Blair's England can. Not that Hussein's Iraq and Germany's Hitler aren't worse; they are: but my expectations of them were never high. My expectations of America continue to soar, despite the lunacy it ...more
Henry Kissinger is a bad bad man, and Christopher Hitchens sets out to prove it and expose all of the fucked up shit this slimy bastard has ever done to the world. The book is interesting, and it's more than a little sad that the one thing that was implicitly hoped for by this book was for Kissinger to sue Verso or Hitchens for libel, an act that would have forced him to open up some of his sealed documents and let the world see what an even bigger douche bag he is.

One day maybe we'll get to se
This little book includes some of Christopher Hitchens' best investigative reporting. He puts former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on trial (at last), and indicts him for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Chile, Cyprus, East Timor, for an attempted assassination of Greek dissident journalist. The book is slim, but fairly detailed, and while it focuses on Kissinger (deservingly), the implicit thesis of the book is the flaw of international legal standards, th ...more
1.5 stars. This was a very frustrating book to read. In each of the chapters (except chapter 8 on East Timor), Hitchens makes his allegations against Kissenger and then proceeds to layout a seeming plethora of information to support the allegations.The problem is, the information presented does not confirm or, in the case of the Kissenger's alleged involvement in the murder of Greek journalist Elias Demetracopoulos, even support the allegations made. I kept finding myself saying "ok, then what.. ...more
A fiery and incisive look at the war crimes of an American statesman, as well as a critique of the international justice system. Hitchens at top form.
An essential piece that illuminates the shocking, corrupt and heartbreaking dark side of American foreign policy in the late 60's and early 70's. The extent to which Nixon, Kissinger and associates actively undermined democracies across any number of nations for the sake of 'national internest' and business interests is simply abhorrent.

Kissinger undermined peace efforts in Vietnam before Nixon came to power, authorised - and indeed pushed for gratutious, spiteful acts of murder in Indochina aga
Harshit Sahay
This book is simply a must read specifically for every american and generally for all humanity, in order to come to grips with reality. Very well researched, it really severely indicts Nixon and Kissinger for their genocidical campaigns or support thereof in vietnam, cyprus, east timor, bangladesh , chile etc. Without being sensationalist, the book tackles all these controversial issues ruthlessly, admitting from the outset to be a case against Henry Kissinger and his war crimes. As good as Inve ...more
A marvelous evisceration of the loathsome Dr K by Christopher Hitchens, convincingly making the case that said Dr should be indicted for war crimes and indeed there are warrants out for his arrest in some European countries. This is Hitchens at his best before he lost his soul to the neo cons and it is in the best tradition of Jonathan Swift. An exhilarating read, though one that makes you so angry, not only at Dr K's total amorality but at the fact that this highly intelligent, extremely powerf ...more
I found myself wishing this was longer. While Hitchens is obviously interested here in only providing evidence for the most objectively provable of Henry Kissingers many many disgusting actions and evasions during his time in power, the book tends to move, often blindingly, between episodes in different parts of the world. This isn't a book for the layperson; it presupposes not only a thorough knowledge of American foreign policy circa 1968-1975, but also at least a somewhat nominal knowledge of ...more
Leave it to Hitch to write the most concise, meticulous and fact-filled novel regarding one of the greatest murderers and criminals of the last century.
I constantly fail to understand how this man continues to, not only enjoy freedom, but remain one of the most influential people in American foreign policy. This is mind boggling.
Obviously, Hitch isn't the only journalist who embarked on uncovering the many, many crimes this man has committed; however, he did do so in the most compelling wa
There’s something challenging about reading, or commenting on a book by Christopher Hitchens, whose well-publicized defection from the radical left to the neoconservative right after the September 11, 2001 attacks leads the reader to look for signs of his then-impending change-of-heart in the texts of his glory years.

I’ll skip the score-settling, and judge Hitchens’ mock trial of the legendarily evil Henry Kissinger in its own right: this is a well-documented and ferociously argued glimpse into
Covers all of Kissingers mass murdering greatest hits from east Timor, southeast Asia, Chile, Bangladesh and more. Hitchens intentionally puts this book together as if he was putting forth a case for Henry Kissinger to be tried for war crimes. Of course Kissinger will never be tried and in fact when he finally dies he will be hailed as a great man even though he is an incredibly evil sociopath.

Really if you study history you can find numerous characters like Kissinger, quite often they were Jew
Christopher Carbone
May 27, 2009 Christopher Carbone rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who is not bothered with the idea of an American War Criminal
This book is a very fast, very fluid read about the foreign policy and possible war crimes of Henry Kissinger. Hitchens does not mince words; there is no rhetorical foreplay nor long winded explanations of how Nixon came to power or Kissinger's childhood, etc. It runs the reader right into the major crimes of Kissinger, namely:

1. The fact that Kissinger most likely intentionally extended the Vietnam war in 1968 in order to defeat Herbert Humphrey and bring Richard Nixon to power, thereby needles
Brad Rosenkrantz
I enjoyed reading this, in spite of the abhorrent subject matter. Hitchens is succinct in presenting facts, referring to prior testimony given by Kissinger's contemporaries and adversaries, and in offering reasoned assumptions where documented evidence is not available — either because that documentation is still considered classified by the U.S. government or because Kissinger himself refuses to make it available to the public.

Hitchens could never be accused of being a shrinking violet; if ther
Some years ago, in an article about unwritten books that people would like to read, someone selected the yet-to-be-written “Prison Memoirs of Henry Kissinger”. Now aged 90, the chances of Kissinger being tried for his war crimes, much less sent to prison, are rapidly diminishing. However, he has outlived Christopher Hitchens, one of his accusers, who died in 2011 aged only 62. After 9/11 Hitchens quickly became a supporter of the Iraq war and, before his death, intervention in Libya. His volte f ...more
Mike Porter
A book that I could hardly stop reading at times and a book I wanted to stop reading at times. Brutal in it's presentation of facts, and Hitchens' sources are wide ranging and credible. In this book Kissinger is excoriated for his role as as Nixon's National Security Advisor and as Secretary of State. It was Kissinger who was dead center in the Chile overthrow of Allende (popularly elected) by General Pinochet, and thousands were killed by the military dictator. As a country, the USA has a lot o ...more
Metodiskt och nogrannt går Hitchens igenom en lista som gör Kissingern till ett av världshistoriens största svin. Och då tar han bara med saker som är direkt åtalbara i antingen USA eller internationellt.
Kissinger en en djävel på både mikro och makronivåer. Fullt medveten om vad han gör då han alltid ser till att försöka gömma dokument och komma med undanflykter och räkna med att folk glömmer.
Hitchens is a bit of a polemicist, so although I usually enjoy his essays, I avoid them until after I’ve made my mind up about a given topic. So I guess I have to admit that going into this I had already made up my mind about Kissinger. Nothing like an echo chamber to expand intellectual horizons.

This was a brief(ish) laundry list of the wrongdoings of one of our most infamous secretaries of state. I was primarily interested in Kissinger’s roles in the horrors in Southeast Asia (Hitchens calls i
Mark Nenadov
A scathing and thorough case against Kissinger. I agree with the basic conclusion. It’s a serious charge to make, but by any contemporary definition of “War Criminal”, Henry Kissinger seems to be one. He just hasn’t had his day in court.
J.f. Lawrence
Christopher Hitchens turns his forensic eye on the political career of one of the 20th century's most powerful, most murderous, most duplicitous psychopaths, Dr. Henry Kissinger: that notorious Nobel Peace Laureate and killer of Lehrerian satire to whom Jeremy Paxman directed the famous question: 'Do you feel a fraud?'

Hitch wields his rhetoric with customary skill to arraign Kissinger in the court of journalistic scrutiny, damning the defendant beyond any reasonable doubt in page after page of
Mary Shanley
One of the worst people in the world is called out by the late great Christopher Hitchens.
Charlie Edwards
I had no idea the extent to which the U.S. government routinely lies to its people. I got an idea of it from Howard Zinn, and this may be a book focusing on one man within the system, but in this short book alone, you get a better picture of the systematic lying that goes on in Washington DC. What is perhaps more shocking, though, are the consequences of this lying on the millions of innocent people around the world. Hitchens racks up the evidence for the motion that Kissinger was not the great ...more
Jon Arnold
Really this one’s Hitchens shooting one very large fish in a tiny barrel. Hitchens had a reputation for being a professional puppy kicker, taking down idols such as Mother Teresa and Bill Clinton. Here he turns his attention to the most notorious recipient of a Nobel Prize, a man to whom history has not been kind but capitalism has.

Hitchens doesn’t stint simply because his subject provides him with so much subject matter. It’s to his eternal credit that he’s as thorough as ever, not simply ragi
I worked with a friend who would always snarl and roar at the first mention of Henry Kissinger. "He's a war criminal!" he would shout through showers of bile. I would always nod and think "I've heard this but can't really comment much as I don't know enough".

Well, imagine my delight when Amazon recommended The Trial of Henry Kissinger by the late, great Christopher Hitchens. Brilliantly researched and perfectly set-out, The Trial of Henry Kissinger turned me from someone who was unsure to now so
Patrick McCoy
I have been a Henry Kissinger critic ever since I read William Shawcross’ compelling book Sideshow, about the illegal bombings in Cambodia and Laos during the Nixon administration during the Vietnam War, while on vacation in Cambodia 12 years ago. So I was intrigued by what the late Christopher Hitchens might have to say about it to condemn the man (in hindsight I realize I might have read a Harper’s piece about it prior to the publishing of this book) in his book The Trial Of Henry Kissinger. T ...more

Whereas I enjoyed reading The Trial of Henry Kissinger more than my last Hitchens read, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, I must admit it was a bit of a slog throughout the middle bit but quickly gathered momentum towards the end.

The book is crammed with facts such as connections, dates and names and as a reader with a regrettably rather thin knowledge of US history and foreign policies of that era, I felt quite overwhelmed with information overload at times. That said,

This is excellent stuff.

Kissinger is the kind of public figure non-political junkies might know a bit about but haven't really got a full grasp on yet. He's vaguely, smellingly evil in other words.

This book brings it all out into the open.

Hitchens writes clearly and devastatingly, with understatement. He lets the facts do the talking. And they do a LOT of talking.

Basically, Hitch is a journalist and has hated Kissinger for years but he has a strong prosecutorial streak and he in effect puts Ki
Jason Smith
Christopher Hitchens despises Henry Kissinger. In this book he vehemently lays out a studied hypothetical legal take-down of the most controversial of controversial American government actors. Its hard to argue with much of the evidence that Hitchens has collected here. It portrays a man who perpetually posed an insidious threat to small, left-leaning democracies the world over and those who support him. Hitchens is willing to parse every noted word the former secretary has spoken to make his ca ...more
Kerissa Ward
Aug 15, 2012 Kerissa Ward rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Political Junkies and Intellectuals
Great book for political intrigue fans. This was the book the documentary of the same name pulls most of its information. The author is also interviewed extensively in the documentary.

What is nice about the book, though, is that Christopher Hitchens is able to explore more areas of foreign policy than the film. Two examples include an incident with an American merchant ship captured off the coast of Cambodia and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Hitchens is very fond of the high-score SAT words, so
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Christopher Eric Hitchens (April 13, 1949 – December 15, 2011) was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry and a variety of other media outlets. Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best-selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of tal ...more
More about Christopher Hitchens...
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever Mortality Hitch-22: A Memoir Arguably: Selected Essays

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“The burden therefore rests with the American legal community and with the American human-rights lobbies and non-governmental organizations. They can either persist in averting their gaze from the egregious impunity enjoyed by a notorious war criminal and lawbreaker, or they can become seized by the exalted standards to which they continually hold everyone else. The current state of suspended animation, however, cannot last. If the courts and lawyers of this country will not do their duty, we shall watch as the victims and survivors of this man pursue justice and vindication in their own dignified and painstaking way, and at their own expense, and we shall be put to shame.” 11 likes
“[T]hose who willed the means and wished the ends are not absolved from guilt by the refusal of reality to match their schemes.” 7 likes
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