"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full." - Henry Kissinger
"The longer I am out of office, the more infallible I appear to myself." - Henry Kissinger
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
The latter half of the 20th century was privy to one of the greatest displays of ongoing international diplomacy seen in American history, but to say that Henry A. Kissinger's career as an American diplomat was purely American would be short-sighted and simplistic. The diplomatic atmosphere, particularly in the 1970s, was far from the image of a public official manning an office in Washington, D.C., greeting foreign dignitaries, and traveling on occasion to sign foreign agreements. In the post-World War II environment, old allies became new enemies, and a series of crises appeared almost simultaneously around the world, involving virtually every nation in the world, on every continent. From Richard Nixon's opening of relations with China to the ensuing conflict with Taiwan, as well as the potential benefits of détente with the Soviet Union, a fellow nuclear power, Secretary of State Kissinger had his hands full. In addition to that, he had to deal with the churning of leadership changes and military rule in South America, the seething tension between the newly-founded Israel and its surrounding Arab states.
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