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Publisher's Summary

Margaret MacMillan brings her extraordinary gifts to two of the most important countries today, the United States and China, and one of the most significant moments in modern history: Richard Nixon's week in China in February 1972, which opened relations between America and China (closed since the communists came to power in 1949). This momentous meeting and visit ultimately laid the foundation for the complex and difficult relationship between China and the United States that we see today.Nixon thought China could help him get out of Vietnam. Mao needed American technology to repair the huge damage of the Cultural Revolution. Both men wanted an ally against an aggressive Soviet Union. Did they get what they wanted? Did Mao betray his own revolutionary ideals? Did Nixon make a mistake in coming to China as a supplicant? And has the United States been at a disadvantage ever since?
Drawing on newly available material from China and America, and capturing the personalities at the center of the drama (Henry Kissinger, Pat Nixon, and Chou En-lai among them), this breathtaking history looks at one of the formative moments of the 20th century and casts new light on two countries and their relationship, on into the world of the 21st century.
©2007 Margaret MacMillan; (P)2007 Recorded Books
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Critic Reviews

"A lively account....[MacMillan] turns a potentially dry diplomatic story into a fascinating study in high-wire diplomacy, full of intrigue and drama." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Roy on 08-23-10


Many of us lived through the meeting between Nixon and Mao. About all I remember is Nixon's return and his speech before Congress on TV. Now, MacMillan's book tells us everything there is to know (how could there be more) about the relationship(s) between the two countries in historical context, anecdotes that make individual players come alive to the listener, and wonderful insights all along the way. For example, the Ping Pong diplomacy - I laughed out loud at what took place.

The prose is wonderful and Barbara Caruso is great. There are a few places that are dry, anyone who has even a marginal interest in this one week in history, will not be disappointed.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Karen on 12-28-07

Lots of details

previously unreported about Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China. Fascinating detail, average writing and above average narration. Recommended for the true history buff, but, if you are not crazy about this era you may want to pass.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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