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World Order

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  7,101 ratings  ·  720 reviews
Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for ...more
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Penguin Press
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  7,101 ratings  ·  720 reviews


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Joseph Spuckler
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love him or hate him, Kissinger is a giant in international relations. I thoroughly enjoyed this book in the audio format. Kissinger centers on Europe and later America, but he includes the Chinese, Iran, and Islam in general. There can be little doubt on where the father of American Realism stands on history and the issues. Westphalia was perhaps the greatest milestone in Western history. Unlike China, which viewed itself as the center of the world, or Islam, which fought for homogenized ...more
Chris Ziesler
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
I approached this book with a little trepidation.

My two previous experiences with Kissinger's earlier books were: Diplomacy, which I found pithy, insightful and very enlightening; and his three volume memoirs which I found to be overwhelming in their level of detail and which eventually defeated my best efforts to read them.

Which Kissinger would be the author of World Order?

I worried unnecessarily. World Order is a master class on Foreign Affairs given by a virtuoso on the subject.

Kissinger's
...more
Domhnall
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
I do not share many opinions with Kissinger - and he will not be very troubled to hear this - but given that he has played such an important part in world politics, and has been directly engaged in decisions as serious as war and peace, it is well worth while to see the myths by which he lives.

The first two chapters set out his understanding of power politics. "No truly global "world order" has ever existed. What passes for order in our time was devised in Western Europe nearly four centuries
...more
Gary
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book has a deep knowledge and eloquence about the history of foreign policy and diplomacy. But its analysis of recent events is rendered treacly by his almost embarrassing unwillingness to say a bad word about any modern president -- and particularly those who have asked him for advice and counsel. Of course, this is the man who was famous for his withering comments about almost everybody and everything, so this gently gently approach not only rings false but robs his comments of any real ...more
Maciej Nowicki
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
World Order is an impressive study that focuses on the geopolitical distribution of power. The book methodically provides a multitude of studies enhanced by anecdotal personal experience of the author.

Worth to say that Henry Kissinger served as the 56th Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford and as the National Security Advisor for six years. During that time he pioneered the policy vs the Soviet Union. He orchestrated the opening of relations with China and negotiated the Paris
...more
Vipassana
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
As an Indian, I was taught to despise Henry Kissinger much before I knew anything about him. This is strongly rooted in his insults of Indira Gandhi, Indians and support of Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The reason I picked up this book is because Hillary Clinton called Kissinger a friend at some point during the US presidential election campaigns. This lead to a bunch of paralysing analyses and opinion pieces on the statement. Surely, he couldn't have been entirely the monster ...more
Saadia B. || Hustle, Bustle and Hurdles
Concept of World Order was defined and its implementation determined in Europe. Before that, with no means of interacting with each other on a substantial basis and no framework for measuring the power of one region against another, each order vowed its own as unique and defined others as barbarians. The structure established in the Peace of Westphalia represented the first attempt to institutionalise order on the basis of agreed rules and limits and to base it on a multiplicity of powers rather ...more
Trish
This is a book that begs to be studied, not just read. Kissinger has spent his career thinking about world order and in this book he looks both forward and back, eliminating much of the static in the view we have of historical events. The result is a clear outline of national interests, power, and its balance through recent history, centered especially on the U.S. perspective, its intents and its perceived responsibilities. The discussion is helpful, and useful. However, in eliminating the “ ...more
Laura Noggle
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, history, nonfiction
Stirring conclusion, impressive in scope, valid analysis.

Kissinger is an astute statesman even if I don’t agree with him on every point.

Looking forward to reading his book On China, as I lived in Beijing for several years and earned my MA in international China studies while living in Taiwan.
Syed Fathi
As oppose to many mainstream media - many regards Kissinger as a war criminal. The architect of many US-backed coup and war around the world especially during his tenure as national security advisor during Nixon's presidency. The most memorable and shameful of all was the US war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which minimum estimate put the death toll at at least 4 million people.

Having this fact in mind, it is a hypocrite at a maximum level when in the book, Kissinger mark US role in the global
...more
Chet Herbert
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Excellent beginning; astute historical analysis, especially regarding the evolutionary nature of the balancing of power, legitimacy, and order in Europe from the seventeenth century Peace of Westphalia, through the Congress of Vienna in the wake of Napoleon's wars, up to collapse of order with the First World War. Kissinger is at his weakest in presenting a shockingly whitewashed and rhetorically idealistic foundation of United States' concept of order as "Acting for All Mankind". . . a ...more
Jack
Kissinger can write a book. His wisdom and depth of understanding are phenomenal. He discusses the concept of world order. Or what we perceive as world order based off of the Westphalian system of states from 1648. Now we progress through that of empires and their disintegration after World War I. What next...in reality not much except a hiatus of hostilities which broke out fully in World War II. The next great phase is that of the Cold War, NATO, the rise of the oil states, and the ...more
Bakunin
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be a gem.
Kissinger describes from a historical perspective why we have the global challenges that we have today. He generalizes a tad in my view but in doing so also allows the reader to get a much firmer grasp of what each nations foreign policy is really about.
In Kissingers view, the modern world was formed in the aftermath of the treaty of Westphalia in 1648 where the concept of the sovereign state was invented. Foreign embassies were established in different countries
...more
Andrew
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
A certain fellow reader was recently so right in a recommendation that I rushed to this.

Prematurely.

Now, it's not Dr. Kissinger's fault that I've studied Europe and India and China, and learned about Westphalia and the Arthashastra and George Macartney's embassy to China, and didn't need to hear about it again. But, frankly, anyone reading Kissinger shouldn't be new to these ideas and so there's not a lot of original material or even analysis here. Balance of power, American exceptionalism,
...more
Peter
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Henry Kissinger requires no introduction…but here it is anyway. Kissinger is among the most astute participants in the foreign policy debates of the 20th and early 21st centuries. He has been at the table throughout the post-WWII Russian acquisition of eastern Europe, the Cuban Missile crisis, the Cold War, the collapse (and potential re-emergence) of Russian strength, and the new Islamist disruptions in the Middle East. As Nixon’s Secretary of State he played a central role in the early1970s
...more
Brian Eshleman
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
My expectations of Kissinger as a writer were shaped by an interaction in Woodward and Bernstein's Final Days where he commends the analysis of one of his underlings but supposedly says that it is too complicated for Pres. Nixon to understand, that the document in question needed to be at "Reader's Digest" level for Nixon to be able to process it.

Therefore, I expected Kissinger to be both difficult to read and condescending. Perhaps the quote was inaccurate, perhaps it represented a moment of
...more
Vigan Rogova
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
In general, the book was below my expectations and what it's title suggests. The first chapters on Europe, its history is thoroughly explained and I learned a lot of interesting facts. The same goes for last chapters on American Presidents, their doctrines and visions which I liked a lot.

However, the middle of the book is of the poor value. The author goes briefly on Middle East and Asia... there is a lot of "take and leave" of subjects without really giving a sense of it. Given the actuality, I
...more
Ahmed Abdelhamid
Sep 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
Skewed!

The book promotes an American propaganda view of world-history in pursuit of World order...

for instance,
For Mr Henry, Iran was in love with US politics, until their revolution. Then they changed the course, but now we (Iran and US) have to get back together. As if the revolution, was not in fact to get rid of this "love-affair", or that the current Iran is still in revolution against the whole world-order.

Even though, in many sections of the book Mr Henry showed a great deal of
...more
Dimitri
Sep 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-history
A book I bought upon release only to be deeply disappointed. While a veteran diplomat cannot but have interesting observations to make about the post-Soviet world, there is more free speculation here than in the meticulous Diplomacy...
Ahmed Taher
Sep 18, 2014 rated it liked it
إحنا طيبين أوي يا خال :( ..
This book should've been named "The American order"!
Ciera
Oct 01, 2017 added it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2017
A wonderful book that I do not feel qualified to give a rating to! Very informative.
Adrian
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although not quite a magnum opus from Dr Kissinger, World Order is perhaps a well timed update of his previous reflections on the interaction of states, notably Diplomacy and Does America Need a Foreign Policy?
For seasoned scholars of International Relations, World Order offers little new, however, it does synergise all the contemporary issues of today's world into one very readable volume.
Dr Kissinger begins with an explanation of the Peace of Westphalia, which forms the backbone of the book.
...more
Tim
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Henry Kissinger, former US foreign minister and diplomat, puts down to words how he thinks the current world order came about. This may not be the most balanced account on international politics, it doesn't claim to be, however, it offers a superb sweep across recent political history. Kissinger introduces the reader to how (for example) the Napoleonic Wars or the American Civil War changed the views of the great powers about how to establish a permanent, and peaceful, world order.

The read is
...more
Jane
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Oh yes! I kind of cannot believe I've already finished this huge book. Even though I got into reading Kissinger's book in Czech, which is not my native language, I was coping quite well. Despite its length, I really enjoyed it and am happy for all the information I could obtain.
Andrew
World Order, by Henry Kissinger, is a book about modern political theory and its application in current events, or theoretical future events. I will preface by saying that Henry Kissinger is apparently a controversial figure, although it is hard to argue that his grasp and knowledge of diplomacy and policy crafting at both a national (United States) and international level is considerable. Therefore, I will brush off any attempts at personal criticism of Kissinger, and just examine his knowledge ...more
Yannis Theocharis
May 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am not sure what I expected when I purchased this book. I mean, I know exactly who Kissinger is, what he stood for and how, so when it comes to his perspective on international relations his voice deserves respect no matter what. Now, the book is extremely valuable in providing an overview of what people like him understand as the "world order", in providing a summary of important historical moments and forces that *shaped* the world order - focusing especially on the Treaty of Westphalia and ...more
Jay Waghray
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Encompasses a lot
Christopher
When I first saw this book and Mr. Kissinger in interviews on TV promoting this book, I was concerned that it would be a condensed version of his book Diplomacy written over 20 years ago at the end of the Cold War. I couldn't be happier to be so wrong. True, his chapters on Europe and America do hit similar notes, but this is very much about how the great regions of the world, Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East, have thought about world order in the past and currently and what that means ...more
Tom
Sep 18, 2014 added it
Let me confess from the start that I am a classic "fan boy" when it comes to both Kissinger's scholarship and his erudition. If this is the great statesman's final volume, it is a fitting capstone to a brilliant career! Walter Isaacson (no shrinking violent in intellectual terms himself!)
Properly sums up this volume with the simple kudo: "magisterial!" Kissinger is at his most powerful, reminding us of the correctness of The Enlightenment and calling on us to address ideological intolerance
...more
Hany
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sharp and fascinating historical analysis of events leading to the Westphalian world order established in Europe after the 30 years war and how some regions of the world who are still till today rejecting that world order due to their own beliefs in their historical, religious and cultural experiences and issues, such as the Middle East and the Far East regions. Towards the end of the book Kissinger talks about the effects of nuclear proliferation, the digital world and social media on ...more
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Henry 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
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“The state is a fragile organization, and the statesman does not have the moral right to risk its survival on ethical restraint.” 22 likes
“Facts are rarely self-explanatory; their significance, analysis, and interpretation—at least in the foreign policy world—depend on context and relevance.” 11 likes
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