In his fascinating new book Kissinger's Shadow, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin argues that to understand the crisis of contemporary America—its never-ending wars abroad and political polarization at home—we have to understand Henry Kissinger.
Examining Kissinger's own writings, as well as a wealth of newly declassified documents, Grandin reveals how Richard Nixon's top foreign policy advisor, even as he was presiding over defeat in Vietnam and a disastrous, secret, and illegal war in Cambodia, was helping to revive a militarized version of American exceptionalism centered on an imperial presidency. Believing that reality could be bent to his will, insisting that intuition is more important in determining policy than hard facts, and vowing that past mistakes should never hinder future bold action, Kissinger anticipated, even enabled, the ascendance of the neoconservative idealists who took America into crippling wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Going beyond accounts focusing either on Kissinger's crimes or accomplishments, Grandin offers a compelling new interpretation of the diplomat's continuing influence on how the United States views its role in the world.
The volume places the neutral states and the NAM in the context of the Cold War and demonstrates the links between the East, the West, and the so-called Third World. In doing so, this collection provides readers an alternative way of exploring the evolution and impact of the Cold War on North-South connections that challenges traditional notions of the post-1945 history of international relations. The various contributions are framed against the backdrop of the evolution of the Cold War international system and the decolonization process in the Southern hemisphere. By juxtaposing the policies of European neutrals and countries of the NAM, this book offers new perspectives on the evolution of the Cold War. With the links between these two groups of countries receiving very little attention in Cold War scholarship, the volume thus offers a window into a hitherto neglected perspective on the Cold War. Via a series of case studies, the chapters here present new viewpoints on the evolution of the global Cold War through the exploration of the ensuing internal and (mainly) external policy choices of these nations.
This book will be of much interest to students of Cold War Studies, international history, foreign policy, security studies and IR in general.