A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812-22

Odyssey Editions
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Few periods illustrate so well the dilemma posed by the appearance of a revolutionary power; and the problems of organizing a legitimate order, as the decade after the Napoleonic Wars. Revolutionary France had refused to accept the legitimacy of the existing European balance of power, which had operated so intricately throughout the eighteenth century. Disputes no longer concerned the adjustment of differences within an accepted framework, but the validity of the framework itself. In 1812, when Napoleon was defeated by Russia, the problem of constructing a legitimate order confronted Europe in its most concrete form. This year marked the moment when it became evident that Europe was not to be organized by force. But the alternative was not nearly so apparent. It was clear that there were new forces loose in the world clamoring for popular participation in government. But it seemed equally evident that these forces had been responsible for a quarter-century of turmoil.

Surprisingly, the settlement that emerged provided a peace lasting almost a hundred years, realized without a major war or permanent revolution. That Europe by 1822 rescued stability from seeming chaos was primarily the result of the work of two great diplomats: Viscount Castlereagh, the British foreign secretary, and Prince von Metternich, Austria’s foreign minister. Henry Kissinger explains how the turbulent relationship between these two men, the differing concerns of their respective countries, and the changing nature of diplomacy influenced the final shape of the new international order. Part political biography, part diplomatic history,A World Restored analyses the alliances formed and treaties signed by the world's leaders during the years 1812 to 1822, the conference system and congresses that gave rise to the European order that would last until the outbreak of World War I, and the tactics and philosophies behind the negotiation of peace. Kissinger’s first book is a powerfully argued manifesto on the nature of statesmanship.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Odyssey Editions
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Published on
Jun 26, 2013
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Pages
354
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ISBN
9781623730116
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Austria & Hungary
History / Europe / General
History / Europe / Germany
History / Europe / Great Britain
History / Europe / Western
History / General
History / Military / General
History / Modern / 19th Century
Political Science / Imperialism
Political Science / International Relations / Diplomacy
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Peace
Political Science / Security (National & International)
Political Science / World / European
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This content is DRM protected.
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“Dazzling and instructive . . . [a] magisterial new book.” —Walter Isaacson, Time
 
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 he 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 policy maker and diplomat.
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