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Henry Kissinger (1923–2023)

Author of Diplomacy

70+ Works 7,504 Members 72 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Medal of Liberty. He is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Years of Renewal and Diplomacy. Dr. Kissinger is currently the chair of Kissinger Associates, show more Inc., an international consulting firm. Born in Germany and a U.S. citizen since 1943, he lives in New York. Henry Kissinger was born in Fuerth, Germany on May 27, 1923. He came to the United States in 1938 and became a United States citizen in 1943. He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1950 and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1952 and 1954. From 1954 until 1969 he was a member of the faculty of Harvard University. He was the United States Secretary of State from September 22, 1973, until January 20, 1977. He also served as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from January 20, 1969, until November 3, 1975. He also held positions on the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy of the National Security Council and Defense Department, and the Defense Policy Board. He received several awards for his diplomatic work including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Medal of Liberty in 1986. He has written numerous books including American Foreign Policy, A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812-22, The White House Years, Years of Upheaval, Diplomacy, Years of Renewal, and On China. In 2014, his book entitled World Order was listed as a New York Times bestseller. He has also published numerous articles on United States foreign policy, international affairs and diplomatic history. He is currently the chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Henry Kissinger

Diplomacy (1994) 2,363 copies
On China (2011) 878 copies
White House Years (1979) 785 copies
Years of Upheaval (1982) 511 copies
Years of Renewal (1999) 373 copies
Memoiren, Bd.2, 1973-1974 (0001) 13 copies
外交〈下〉 (1996) 2 copies
外交〈上〉 (1996) 1 copy
Memoiren 1 copy
Vodstvo 1 copy
Mis Memorias (1979) 1 copy

Associated Works

Memoirs (1983) — Foreword, some editions — 138 copies
On the Firing Line: The Public Life of Our Public Figures (1989) — Contributor — 113 copies
Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe (1978) — Contributor — 73 copies
The Best American Political Writing 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 27 copies
The Conservative Papers (1964) — Contributor — 11 copies


Common Knowledge



OT : Is this the WORST book design ever? in Folio Society Devotees (April 2022)


This was a review of the current state of AI and an overview of all the risks, potentials, problems, and ways to handle them. It didn't really provide specific answers to these questions but leaves everything open for the reader and for the future. Pretty interesting read.
neanderthal88 | 3 other reviews | Jan 27, 2024 |
This is a remarkable book about leadership, as the title suggests, but it also covers a wide range of other topics, such as history, global political strategy, and the value of moral character on the international stage. Six twentieth-century leaders are chosen by Kissinger, the majority of whom he knew personally. His descriptions of each place focus on the legacies that the leaders of each nation left behind and the strategic vision that each leader worked to make a reality. Importantly, this vision would improve his or her people's standing in the eyes of the international community.

The book also highlights characteristics of leadership including personal qualities, limitations faced by each, divisiveness created by the changes sought, and the policy imprint that endured for each nation as a result of the leadership of each of the characters: Konrad Adenauer, Charles De Gaulle, Richard Nixon, Anwar Sadat, Margaret Thatcher, and Lee Kuan Kew.

Kissinger's excellent wording and the manner he gave context and history for each of the stories impressed me. What Kissinger referred to as "deep literacy" was one fundamental idea that each leader shared. That is a mind that has been trained by intense reading, and through this reading and their particular experience, they have developed a profound awareness of and the capacity for concentration on the major problems they confronted. Each reader of his book can apply this lesson to their own situation. Overall, this book improved my comprehension of the world I live in and the contributions made by these six leaders.
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jwhenderson | 2 other reviews | Oct 4, 2023 |
Public fascination with artificial intelligence (AI) has only increased since this book was published in 2021. AI technologies, such as Chat GPT, have entered mainstream society and are being used in everyday business work. Publicly, however, leaders from philosophy, business, and government do not appear yet ready to grapple with the deep human questions involved. For example, when do we defer to AI bots over human agency? Are we ready for AI tools of war – both offensively and defensively? How will this affect how we view ourselves as creatures of reason? In this book, Henry Kissinger, a dean at MIT Daniel Huttenlocher, and the CEO of Google Eric Schmidt grapple with similar issues at length.

The depth of thought in this work cannot be contained in a short book review. Needless to say, they cover the foreseeable issues through a historical lens. AI technology seems to portend an epochal transition in human civilization, much like the advent of the printing press. A big distinction is between assistive AI, under human direction, and autonomous AI, which directs us. Also in this realm, the prospect of artificial general intelligence – that is, a sentient computer or android – looms large and frighteningly realistic.

AI can apply to many fields of human activity, like the military, healthcare, business, education, and scientific research. These examples and more are explicitly examined throughout this book. Not all are good, however. The prospect of AI weapons scares me deeply. United States policy is not to develop autonomous weapons, but what about other countries? Is there any plausible way to defend against such war? It seems inevitable that someone is going to try using such a weapon eventually, even if they are a rogue terrorist group. Do we have to go through another World War I to learn our lesson?

This book offers more intelligent questions than firm answers, and that is the authors’ apparent intention. We are at the early stages of mainstream adoption of this technology, and questions abound while certainty is scarce. As such, reading this socially focused book behooves anyone interested in seriously forecasting the repercussions on the world. I develop software for a living, on the micro-level, so a treatment like this on the macro-level is helpful to see coding’s impact down the road. My experience tells me that the issues raised are spot-on, and the treatment is even and balanced. As humans, are we ready for this? No, but reading this book will make a reader more prepared.
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scottjpearson | 3 other reviews | Aug 15, 2023 |
BegoMano | 16 other reviews | Mar 5, 2023 |



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