World Order

World Order

Book - 2014
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Walter Isaacson, Time :
“Dazzling and instructive... [a] magisterial new book."

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 the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.

There has never been a true “world order," Kissinger observes. For most of history, civilizations defined their own concepts of order. Each considered itself the center of the world and envisioned its distinct principles as universally relevant. China conceived of a global cultural hierarchy with the Emperor at its pinnacle. In Europe, Rome imagined itself surrounded by barbarians; when Rome fragmented, European peoples refined a concept of an equilibrium of sovereign states and sought to export it across the world. Islam, in its early centuries, considered itself the world's sole legitimate political unit, destined to expand indefinitely until the world was brought into harmony by religious principles. The United States was born of a conviction about the universal applicability of democracy—a conviction that has guided its policies ever since.

Now international affairs take place on a global basis, and these historical concepts of world order are meeting. Every region participates in questions of high policy in every other, often instantaneously. Yet there is no consensus among the major actors about the rules and limits guiding this process, or its ultimate destination. The result is mounting tension.

Grounded in Kissinger's deep study of history and his experience as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, World Order guides readers through crucial episodes in recent world history. Kissinger offers a unique glimpse into the inner deliberations of the Nixon administration's negotiations with Hanoi over the end of the Vietnam War, as well as Ronald Reagan's tense debates with Soviet Premier Gorbachev in Reykjavík. He offers compelling insights into the future of U.S.–China relations and the evolution of the European Union, and examines lessons of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taking readers from his analysis of nuclear negotiations with Iran through the West's response to the Arab Spring and tensions with Russia over Ukraine, World Order anchors Kissinger's historical analysis in the decisive events of our time.

Provocative and articulate, blending historical insight with geopolitical prognostication, World Order is a unique work that could come only from a lifelong policymaker and diplomat.

Hillary Clinton, The Washington Post:
“It is vintage Kissinger, with his singular combination of breadth and acuity along with his knack for connecting headlines to trend lines. "

Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"[C]ould not be more timely...  the book puts the problems of today's world and America's role in that increasingly interconnected and increasingly riven world into useful—and often illuminating—context."

The Financial Times
“Kissinger's conclusion deserves to be read and understood by all candidates ahead of the 2016 presidential election. World order depends on it."

John Micklethwait, The New York Times Book Review
“If you think America is doing just fine, then skip ahead to the poetry reviews.  If, however, you worry about a globe spinning out of control, then World Order is for you."
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, 2014
ISBN: 9781594206146
Branch Call Number: 327 KIS NVD
Characteristics: 420 pages ; 25 cm

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a
abcDena
Nov 22, 2016

Kissinger is a political cancer.

1
1aa
Nov 21, 2016

Most of the book is a bit pedantic and dry, giving a statist, political realist and historical summary of international order. The chapter on Islam, whilst diplomatic, is also, I think controversial, but insightful too. It is chapter nine and the conclusion that I thought the work really came alive: that part should be expanded and made into a book unto itself.

p
PearlyBaker
May 04, 2016

Typical government narrative, intelligence propaganda, revisionist history that would have Howard Zinn rolling in his grave and Noam Chomsky screaming, "This is why I'm an anarchist," in his NPR voice of course. Hank basically states that there can be relatively safe world order so long as everyone get's in line with our idea of Westphalian sovereignty and agrees with everything we say. It just seems so hypocritical to ever talk about a nuclear Iran or WMD's when we are a nuclear power and are the only country to use them and many other WMD's. Like War and Peace I felt I needed to read Hank K. at least once in my life and I fully regret both choices. Now I think I'll try the other global manipulator, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

m
mooglee
May 17, 2015

Look at the state of world affairs and foreign policy...it isn't something to brag about. This manifesto is obnoxious at best.

n
naturalist
Sep 08, 2014

see also: "The Trial of Henry Kissinger" .... by .. Hitchens, Christopher Eric 1949-2011 ... published by ... Verso 2001 .... ISBN: 1859846319 ... (2 copies disappeared from the EPL collection)

s
StarGladiator
Sep 07, 2014

If there truly were lone gunman, this guy would have been shot long ago, or at least dragged to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. What a pompous pile of slime.

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