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On China by Henry Kissinger
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

it was amazing
Read from August 11 to 13, 2011

I'm stunned how much I was captured by this book. Even at the book's impressive size, I actually wanted MORE information! Extremely detailed, but essentially skipped details on WWI, WWII, the Vietnam War, etc. While it makes sense since it's a book on China, it completely surprised me to want even more.

"Both societies believe they represent unique values. American exceptionalism is cultural. China does not proselytize; it does not claim that its contemporary institutions are relevant outside China."

"Americans think they understand China better than the Chinese people themselves." - Li Ruihuan (quoted in the book)

It really helps me understand more of China's perspective of history and current events. And it's sad to say that the book's size will limit it's reach, but I was surprised how approachable the book is and details a compelling tale. Even Kissinger's own role is relatively marginalized, without demarcation within the reading.

I didn't expect to learn and laugh as much as I did, but hearing about Khrushchev in water wings due to Mao's choice of meeting in the swimming pool - it's just funny.

If you have a chance, check this out at your local library and gain insight into China. No matter whether China is considered enemy or friend or somewhere in between, a fascinating read.

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Reading Progress

08/12/2011 page 180
30.0% "Didn't expect this book to be as funny as it is. Like Mao hosting Khrushchev in his swimming pool, but since Khrushchev can't swim, he uses water wings while their interpreters following them on the sides of the pool!"
08/13/2011 page 376
62.0% "An intense look at China/US relations, through different presidents and circumstances."

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