Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power
Working side by side in the White House, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger were two of the most compelling, contradictory, and powerful figures in America in the second half of the twentieth century. While their personalities could hardly have seemed more different, both were largely self-made men, brimming with ambition, driven by their own inner demons, and often ruthle...more
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Dallek's insights into Nixon are scarier than Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. Where the movie was a satirical fiction to shine a light on truth, Dallek's recounting of Nixon's "tactic" of presenting himself as an unbalanced man with his finger on the button is downright scary on two accounts: 1) it was nonfictional; 2) people tend to become roles that initially are pretend.
That's not the only alarming revelation of this history focusing on Nixon's and Kissinger's ...more
For non-Watergate junkies, this is a comprehensive recitation of the Nixon presidency. ...more
Unfortunately it was incredibly difficult to tell where thorough research left off and speculation began. There is brief biographical information for both Kissinger and Nixon (th ...more
Dallek also has an eye for detail with thorough referencing and exampl ...more
Since the gist of the story is about how these two men worked together, the author's effort at keeping the description of the earlier parts of their li ...more
Dallek describes all of their major accomplishments: the opening to China (“a demonstration of how pragmatic [Nixon] could be to achieve something he ...more
Nixon was a very moody, paranoid man. His family life seemed lacking, with 2 brothers dying during his childhood. His father was not the ideal family man and Nixon often craved for his mother, which was time she could not give to him.
Nixon entered into politics with a vengeance. He started his political career as a state congressman and rose from there. He ran for President twice, los ...more
Quite detailed, you see the crumbling of a presidency and how the people inside of the presidency can exercise narrow and self interested judgement to protect themselves and their power, the good of the country be damned.
If you asked those same people to describe Henry Kissinger, they might mention his shuttle diplomacy and No ...more
It feels like you are just skimming the surface. Learning the names of events a ...more
It felt really long. Obviously, it was long. But some long books feel short and some short books feel long. This book felt really long.
How in the world did we manage to elect a neurotic, insecure, narcissistic man like Nixon to the Presidency? Especially one who would work in close partnership with another thin-skinned neurotic, in Kissinger? Sure, Johnson was also a power hungry manipulator. But he wasn't actually mentally unstable the way that ...more
Two parts of the book are called "The Best of Times" and "The Worst of Times." Maybe the whole book could be called "A Tale of Two Scumbags."
Nixon and Kissinger played off each other. Both wanted the glory at whatever cost. Even the good things they pulled off (opening to China, detente with USSR) were done for their personal status more than anything else. They kept the Vietnam war going for at least two extra years (20,000 casualties) so ending it could provide maximum help in the ...more
Armed with voluminous new source material, presidential historian Robert Dallek delivers a comprehensive view of a profoundly influential political duo. Because of their importance, very little in Nixon and Kissinger is new. But that doesn't deter reviewers from praising Dallek for this intelligent, wide-ranging synthesis. The author of the best-selling An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917?1963 (***1/2 Sept/Oct 2003) and a two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, Dallek details the personal...more