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The Trial of Henry Kissinger

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  2,322 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
With the detention of Augusto Pinochet, and intense international pressure for the arrest of Slobodan Milosovic, the possibility of international law acting against tyrants around the world is emerging as a reality. In this incendiary book, Hitchens takes the floor as prosecuting counsel and mounts a devastating indictment of a man whose ambitions and ruthlessness have dir ...more
Paperback, 161 pages
Published June 17th 2002 by Verso (first published 2001)
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Jun 17, 2007 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, verso
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
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
Oct 07, 2008 Mr. rated it liked it
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
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.
Harshit Sahay
Oct 21, 2012 Harshit Sahay rated it it was amazing
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
Ana  Vlădescu
I don't imagine that after Hitchens' account of Kissinger, there is need for any other on the fighting side. You can just take this as a sort of list of what Kissiger has (or hasn't) done. I tend to believe that the author's research is water tight, and as he did with Mother Theresa, after reading one of his accusatory works you can't go back to regarding the subject the same.
Dec 12, 2009 Kevin rated it liked it
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
Feb 06, 2012 Ed rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 22, 2011 Lachlan rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 07, 2014 Ivana rated it it was amazing
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
David M
(I read this years ago, along with Seymour Hersh's book and Chomsky's copious writings on Kissinger. Every now and then it will randomly occur to me that the man is still alive, and not in prison, and it sort of ruins my day.

In hindsight it's all too clear, the point at which not-being-Trump starts to yield diminishing returns

Barbara Walters, Henry Kissinger, Charlie Rose, Oscar de la Renta, and the Clintons, oh my!
Christopher Carbone
May 21, 2009 Christopher Carbone rated it liked it
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
Jan 19, 2014 Jeremy rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
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
Jan 16, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
Henry Kissinger is a bit of an open secret in U.S. politics. No one really bothers denying anymore that he was the prime mover behind a lot of ugly moments in our foreign policy: the Paris Peace talks, the illegal bombing of Cambodia, Pinochet, Suharto, etc. Indeed it's a big part of his Strangelovian mystique -- that "frisson of power" as Hitchens calls it. But for whatever reasons, he has rarely been challenged by anyone with real power in the media or the establishment and has been allowed to ...more
Mary Shanley
Jul 16, 2012 Mary Shanley rated it it was amazing
One of the worst people in the world is called out by the late great Christopher Hitchens.
James Mackay
Jan 26, 2017 James Mackay rated it really liked it
A strong, generally well-researched and well-supported polemic on the misdoings of Kissinger in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus and East Timor. Allegations include (1) illegal private diplomacy in order to obtain office, (2) prolongation and extension of the Vietnam War into heavy bombing of neighbouring countries, (3) the failure to take action against - or (taking Hitchens' evidence at its highest) active material support for and diplomatic encouragement of - millitary junta ...more
Jan 10, 2017 Egemen rated it really liked it
orçoluk denince akla gelen ilk isimlerden henry kissinger'ın yediği naneler hakkında güzel bir eser. okumaya erinenler belgeselini de izleyebilir.
J.F. Lawrence
Jul 23, 2014 J.F. Lawrence rated it it was amazing
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
Charlie Edwards
Oct 23, 2013 Charlie Edwards rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 28, 2012 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike Porter
Mar 23, 2014 Mike Porter rated it really liked it
Shelves: current-events
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
Jan 14, 2010 Cwn_annwn_13 rated it liked it
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
May 20, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
A lot of people avoid Hitchens because of his "New Atheist" associations. We must remember, however, that he is a journalist of the highest caliber. Kissinger & Nixon were very bad people, and the evidence proves it. The coco-political climate of the 1970's could have been different save for the avarice of the Nixon-era ruling party. Nixon and Kissinger should have been tried for War Crimes, as Hitchens proves. Ignore your religious beef with Hitch and see the reality of the USA's policies i ...more
Joel Trono-Doerksen
Probably the only book by Christopher Hitchens I will give 5 stars to let alone read. Before I read this book I knew very little about Henry Kissinger, I had just seen him on the Simpsons once. After reading this books, readers will know a great deal about this truly vile historical character. Hitchens chronicles Kissinger's life of crime all over the world from Chile to Vietnam to East Timor. Very well researched and quite a brilliant, scathing indictment of the United States most famous (and i ...more
Oct 08, 2010 Gurra rated it really liked it
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.
Mark Nenadov
Jul 20, 2011 Mark Nenadov rated it it was amazing
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.
Benjamin Montero
Sep 12, 2013 Benjamin Montero rated it really liked it
do not mess
Lenny D
Christopher Hitchens is going to live forever on YouTube. That's where I first encountered him. In video after video he was battling it out with the superstitious, upbraiding believers and the idea of God with impeccable poise and that sonorous voice. To many like myself, he sounded like the smartest man in the world. He was so delightfully pugnacious. He won arguments the way that most Intelligent Young Men could only dream of: slyly, decisively, with insuperable class. You just could not box h ...more
Cailin Deery
Jan 11, 2016 Cailin Deery rated it really liked it
Reporting from the other side of my first, full length, “studiously defamatory” experience of Hitchens. I finally moved this one up on my list to pole position after seeing that David Bowie listed the Trial of Henry Kissinger 6th in his top 100 must-read books; and shortly following that, Kissinger once again made headlines in the February Democratic debates when Clinton and Sanders voiced fiercely contrasting views of the man and his term as Secretary of State.

I have to say, the expose laid out
Simon Zohhadi
Mar 21, 2017 Simon Zohhadi rated it it was amazing
America would be a great country if it adhered to its core values of democracy, freedom of speech and human rights. Unfortunately, America falls short of greatness because there are Americans who believe that anything goes and everything is acceptable when putting American interests first. On balance the USA is a force for the good and has benefited mankind by being on the right side in WW1, WW2 & the Cold War. However, their reputation is severely damaged by bad wars, overthrowing democrati ...more
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Christopher Eric Hitchens 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 talk shows and lecture circuits. He was ...more
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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.” 17 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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