Henry Kissinger’s Philosophy of History
PERHAPS governmental 05cial has been no
so analyzed by the American intellectual
community as Henry Kissinger. Much of this interest is due to his dramatic personal diplomacy and his cultivated image as a 4 6 secret swinger.” Kissinger, however, has the additional attraction of being an intellectual and a scholar. As an academic with immense power he provides vicarious identification for academics with little influence on policy. Equally important, Kissinger is unique among contemporary American statesmen in that his voluminous writings expose his basic ideas and invite scrutiny. It is natural that historians should have a special interest in Kissinger as Kissinger has shown a deep interest in history. He has not only functioned as an historian but has based many of his contemporary concepts and actions on a well-defined philosophy of history. While numerous books and articles have commented on Kissinger’s identification with past diplomats such as Metternich and Bismarck, there has been no attempt to evaluate Kissinger as an historian.’ Long before he began making history Kissinger was writing it. His senior honors thesis at Harvard, written in 1950 for William Elliott, was a sprawling 377-page personal essay entitled “The Meaning of His180
tory : Reflections on Spengler, Toynbee, and Kant.” Aside from producing a limit on the length of senior honors theses, “The Meaning of History” revealed a basic philosophy of history that Kissinger expanded first in his doctoral dissertation and later in historical essays, books, and articles o n American foreign policy. Kissinger’s interest in the past has been motivated almost solely by a search for insights into contemporary problems. He defended his decision to write his dissertation on the Congress of Vienna “because the problems seem to me analogous to those of our day.”2 Despite his belief that history offers relevant examples for current leaders, Kissinger has never argued that the present is identical with the past. “History teaches by analogy, not identity,” he has cautioned, “the lessons of historical experience . . . are contingent. They teach the consequences of certain actions, but they cannot force recognition of comparable situations.” Kissinger has also dismissed as “childish” the persistent argument that he identifies himself with Metterni~h.~ Despite these disclaimers, it is clear that Kissinger feels history does offer parallels with the present. An examination of Kissinger’s historical writings reveals numerSpring 1975
... Analysis of wedding ceremony in Iran and India: from past to contemporary. I. Introduction and characteristics of cultures. I try to introduce ... most interesting thing if take to consideration place from where came Arian in was Iranian plateau, where referring to some contemporary ... who enthuse him in all his tasks.There is very interesting explanation of the significance of the mantras recited during ...
ous attempts to equate past situations with contemporary problems. He repeatedly makes the analogy between post-World War I1 America and England in the 1820’s. Both are, in Kissinger’s view, “island powers” reluctant to intervene in the European balance-of-power unless there is an obvious military threat. Nineteenth century Prussia is often compared with modem Israel: both are forced by geography to pursue preemptive wars. The Soviet Union is seen as an historical parallel of revolutionary France. Ideology committed both to territorial expansion. Aside from present-mindedness, Kissinger’s history is characterized by a fascination with the individual and with the great powers. Due to his decision to concentrate on the history of foreign relations and his view that only the rare man of genius influences history, public opinion, domestic politics, political parties, and ideological differences appear in Kissinger’s writings only as extraneous hindrances that befuddle, restrict, and occasionally destroy the individuals he is most concerned with. What preoccupies Kissinger is not institutions but individuals such as Bismarck, De Gaulle, Lenin, and ICastlereagh. Partly because of this obsession with the great man, Kissinger makes no attempt to avoid moral judgments. Individuals are dismissed as ‘Lblunderers,” “pedants,” or the ultimate insult, “bureaucratic minds.” Those he admires, on the other hand, are lavishly praised as “geniuses,” “brilliant,” L L men of vision” possessing “spontaneity” and “creativity.” The criterion for these distinctions is Kissinger’s alone. Historians might well object to these summary characterizations. They would likely be more upset with Kissinger’s assessment of other historians and their methods. Kissinger’s methodology violated every rule postulated in a graduate seminar. While preparing his doctoral dissertation, “A
... that "no power on earth was entitled to prevent any individual from seeking Christ in his own way." This belief threatened ... and peaceful coexistence. The Puritan mind adopted revisionist and new-historical values. The Puritans' reason for migration was that they refused ... were destructive to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and her twisted view of Puritanism went too far than expected. Hutchinson and her ...
World Restored : Metternich, Castlereagh, and the Problems of Peace, 1812-1822,” Kissinger refused to read any of the secondary literature on the Congress of Vienna or the leaders of Europe. Instead he went directly to the writings and memoirs of the individuals involved. Only after he had begun to write was he finally persuaded to review the works of Charles Webster and others who had devoted their life to the study of European politics in the period. When he did finally read other historians he was unimpressed. In a few sentences in his annotated bibliography he dismissed all the standard accounts of the period as inadequate. Crane Brinton’s work is summarized as “too thin.” Harold Nicolson’s study of the Congress is “a paean of praise for Talleyrand.” Duff Cooper as “one-sided” and Gugliemo Ferrero “too moral is ti^.”^ Most critiques of Kissinger’s historical works contend that he is searching for heroes. In a sense this is true, but to Kissinger they are tragic heroes. The most obvious trait of Kissinger’s history is a deep pessimism. To Kissinger history is tragedy. It is dominated by man’s constant search for stability, for “frameworks,” for “legitimacy,” however it is a search ultimately doomed to failure. Man cannot escape from what Kissinger has called “the fatedness of historical events.” As an undergraduate Kissinger was drawn to the determinism of Oswald Spengler and to Arnold Toynbee’s cyclical view of the rise and fall of civilizations. Kissinger emphasizes the fallibility of man rather than his strengths. History to Kissinger is not man’s progress but the reoccurring yet unsuccessful attempt to bring order out of chaos. History is the repeated failure of men and nations to control events and achieve stability. “Life is suffering,” he summarized, “transitoriness is the fate of existence. No civilization has yet been permanent, no longing completely fulfilled.”5
... for his failure in protecting individual benefit. After all, any nation is composed by every individual. Only most individual's benefit has been gained ... also should not look down the well-being of individual citizens. A nation is a union of all people, but not some ... overall success, it is doomed the nation's end day is coming soon. Retrospect the history, no thrived country didn't put ...
Kissinger accepts an evolutionary view of history. He emphasizes laws, determinism, events and forces beyond the control of man. However, historical evolution to Kissinger does not necessarily mean progress. Modernization does not mean democracy he argues, citing the examples of Germany and Japan. Education does not necessarily expand liberty but often is only indoctrination. Economic gains and political complexity do not automatically result in freedom. History has been written as the story of man’s progress, Kissinger argues, because historians deal only “with successful elements and the blatantly successful ones at that” rather than the failures of history. In their early stages civilizations have potential and options but “as societies become more elaborate and [their] tradition is firmly established, the choices . grow more restricted.” Inevitably civilizations stagnate and crumble. “The problem of evolution,” Kissinger concludes, “becomes one of ‘if youth but knew and age but could.’ ’’e The one unchanging element in historical evolution is, in Kissinger’s view, the nation state. Nations are products of their history, a part of an ageless cycle of development. Nations, like humans, grow old and feeble but “they are incapable of the ultimate human solace”: they cannot die. They must “pay the price of all their transgressions.” History is the endless battle among these states for power. There are no ultimate solutions to this historical process of international conflict and internal decay. “Only a shallow historicism would maintain that successful policies are always possible,” he argues.’ States are trapped by their geography, history, and self-image. The rivalry among nations is constant and invariably culminates in war and disaster. For example, Kissinger contends that the unification of Germany led inevitably to the tragedy of World War I and I1 not because of blun-
ders or poor leadership, but because of history and “fate.” Fate plays a crucial role in Kissinger’s determinism. He admitted in his famous 1972 interview with Olga Fallaci: “In a sense I am a fatalist. I believe,in fate. True I believe we must fight to attain a goal. But I also believe there are limits to the fight a man may engage in to reach his goal.’’8 Nations with competent leaders and sound policies may still be destined for disaster. Given this pessimistic view of history and the emphasis on unavoidable conflict it would seem that the individual can do little to alter the course of history. However, to Kissinger it is the individual who has had the greatest influence on history. While the world situation is “inherently unstable” and wars are due to “intrinsic causes,” the man of genius can postpone conflict through a legitimate international order that recognizes man’s imperfection and the continuing interests of the nation states. While antagonisms can never be eliminated they can be checked. If all states accept, however grudgingly, the need to avoid direct conflict, war can be delayed or at least limited. But even this meager goal, the avoidance of disaster, is a monumental task that has been achieved by only a few gifted individual^.^ The great man is basic to Kissinger’s view of history. He chides most historians for neglecting the individual by reducing the statesman to “a lever on a machine called ‘history.’ ” To Kissinger the only spark of hope is the giant, the statesman, the creator. “Those who achieve greatness,” he wrote, “have the strength to contemplate chaos, there to find material for fresh creation.”1° Kissinger admires the individual because only he grapples with the inevitable force of history. Only the rare genius recognizes the inescapable conflict that is , history and attempts to bring some tempoSpring 1975
... Mostly, the movie shows racism and group superiority. American History X is about racism.The movie shows a lot of ... American History X is a very great movie. It is about a young skinhead who ... told in black and white, which shows great symbolism. The movie shows a great dominant American value. Tony Kaye, the ... prison for three years. He comes out a changed man, and attempts to get his family out of that ...
rary order. “The statesman manipulates reality,” concludes Kissinger.’l Regardless of his ideology, the true statesman is a revolutionary because he manages to deflect if not alter the course of history. Through the force of his own will the man of genius personally dominates an era. He imposes stability. Yet the true statesman appears rarely. Only when the moment and the man meet can there be order. In the face of great historical challenge “timid men are likely to be moved to trepidation” but the man of genius seizes the moment and imposes his personal will. Such rare individuals are above conventional mentality and morality. “Anyone wishing to affect events must be an opportunist to some extent,” Kissinger argues.12 To Kissinger the most successful of the 6
... behind this was to increase the prices and wages but history shows that it further aggravated the depression because due ... non-interventionist, laissez-faire policy (Amatecon, 2007). Consequences of Great Depression: The consequences that arise as a result of the ... unfortunately America entered into appalling stage of recession, called as Great Depression. · Bank Failures (1930): By 1930, almost 9000- ...
as much as he manipulated a given situation. A master technician he does not approach the creative greatness of Bismarck. Similarly, Castlereagh recognized the problems of Europe but was too restrained by the British cabinet to “create” a new order as had Bismarck. Aside from De Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, the only twentieth century leaders to approach Kissinger’s standard of greatness are Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai. The Chinese, according to Kissinger, understand the relationship between war and diplomacy. They recognize that history allows for only limited success and that patience is the key to any achievement.14 Kissinger attempts to blend two seeming ly conflicting views of history : determinism and the role of the individual as historical catalyst. History is repetitive. It is governed by laws and patterns. The rare individua1, however, can ‘‘manipulate reality” and temporarily impose his own conception. Ultimately, however, even the greatest statesman cannot sustain his triumph. Here is the essence of Kissinger’s tragic view of history. The greatest act of creation, the most stupendous achievements, are doomed to failure. The genius cannot make permanent, or in Kissinger’s words “institutionalize,” his framework. This is in part due to the dominance of all nations by mediocrities. “Institutions are designed for an average standard . they are rarely able to accommodate genius of demonic power,” Kissinger argues. “A call to greatness is often not understood by contemporaries.” The statesman must not only contend with a shifting, instable world, but also with colleagues who lack his sophisticated overview. The bastion of this mediocrity, and thus the major enemy of the great man, is the entrenched bureaucracy. “The bureaucrat will consider originality unsafe” and attempt to stifle the statesman’s creativity.16 The great man’s creation is thus transi-
... Great Vision Great Nation Within the scope of this research, we will ... Was freedom and equality guaranteed for all men and women? Studying history we see that it does differ and in ... Americans became reflected through the course of our countrys history. To start with, we will discuss some of ... the Declaration it states, All men are created equal. ...
tory. If his world order is not destroyed before he dies it crumbles when he is gone A statesman can achieve all his goals but ultimately he must fail. He can temporarily control the chaos of history, but he cannot permanently alter it. History to Kissinger is a cruel irony: only the great man can maintain international order, but resting stability on one man leads to catastrophe when he errs or dies. “A society that must produce a great man in each generation to maintain its domestic or international position will doom itself.” concludes Kissinger. Even Kissinger’s greatest statesman, Bismarck, ultimately was overwhelmed by history :
But the gods sometimes punish pride by fulfilling man’s wishes too completely. Statesmen who build lastingly transform the personal art of creation into institutions that can be maintained by an average standard of performance. This Bismarck proved incapable of doing. His very success committed Gemany to a permanent tour de force. Bismarck’s tragedy was that he left a heritage of unassimilated greatness.
a given period. Inspiration is a call for greatness ; organization a recognition that mediocrity is the usual pattern of leadership. It is the origin of mass frenzy, of crusades, of “reformations,” of progress, this realization that the spontaneity of individual reflection cannot be institutionalized.
Bismarck “mortgaged the future” and the result of his greatness was the holocaust of World War ITs History to Kissinger is a repeating process of apparent success followed by disaster. The great man of vision can influence history but he cannot maintain his changes because he cannot make them self-sustaining. In the conclusion of A World Restored Kissinger sets forth his fundamentally pessimistic view of the almost Hegelian struggle between the individual and history: It is the inextricable element of history, this conflict between inspiration and organization. . Inspiration is timeless, its validity is inherent in its conception. Organization is historical; dependent on the material available at
The great man is doomed to futility: “The statesman is therefore like one or the heroes in classical drama who has had a vision of the future but who cannot transmit it directly to his fellow men.”’? There are several factors that destroy the individual’s attempt to permanently alter history. The major assassins of creativity and stability are, to Kissinger, bureaucrats, domestic politics, and, most important, the historical spirit of the nation. In all his writings Kissinger is a caustic critic of the bureaucracy. The bureaucrat does not understand the great man or the framework for peace he is attempting to create. The bureaucracy is conservative while the great man is revolutionary; it is cautious while the great man is spontaneous; it is as dedicated to routine as the individual is to creativity. Ultimately it “absorbs the energy of top executives,” smothers innovation, and inhibits the individual’s attempt to control history. The only solution, according to Kissinger, is for the statesman to bypass the bureaucracy and take personal responsibility for all decisions and negotiationsT8 While the bureaucracy restrains the individual, domestic politics can destroy him. Kissinger’s history ignores internal politics and politicians except when they interfere with foreign policy. Unfortunately, according to Kissinger, they interfere all too often. It was lack of domestic support that destroyed Castlereagh‘s vision and ultimately drove him to suicide. Castlereagh was unable to impart his conception to the British cabinet. This destroyed not only Castlereagh but the entire framework for peace
developed at the Congress of Vienna. Europe plunged towards the “doctrinaire adherence to the status quo” that “dates from the death of Ca~tlereagh.’’~~ The pressures of domestic politics often shape foreign policy for internal consumption argues Kissinger. This crushes creativity and innovation. The true statesman manages to maintain domestic support for his foreign policy without compromising his vision for party politics. Such cases are rare. More often the diplomat “outruns the experience of his people” and is unable “to sell his program at home.” To Kissinger, Woodrow Wilson is the prime example of a potentially creative genius whose failure to retain domestic support destroyed his entire prograrn.2O While the bureaucracy and domestic politics hamstring the statesman they can, argues Kissinger, be manipulated. What cannot be controlled is the “national experience¶’ of a nation, its “historical development,” its history. Each nation has a unique history that restrains its leader from total independence. Nations, like individuals, have inherited characteristics and styles. History has shaped each state and the individual can do little to change the nation’s identity.21 Unfortunately the nation’s self-image is often in conflict with the great man’s conception. In such a case the individual is bound to fail. He either gives in to the restraints of historical experience, such as Metternich who adjusted his entire foreign policy to meet the problem of nationalities in the Austrian Empire, or he attempts to go against his nation’s history and is destroyed. Much of the failure of American ,diplomacy, for example, is attributed by Kissinger to “national traits which are deeply ingrained in the American experience” and beyond the control of the What emerges from a reading of Kissinger’s history is a sense of inevitable
tragedy. While the rare individual can achieve historical change he is eventually crushed by the uncontrollable force of history itself. A Bismarck, a Metternich, a De Gaulle, achieve stunning triumphs through the force of their own will and personality but their creations are destroyed by mediocrity and the ongoing conflicting interests of nations. Thus Kissinger compares Metternich to Don Quixote. The man of genius is out of touch with his contemporaries. He is forced to try to explain his vision to those unable to comprehend while at the same time struggle to avoid imminent international anarchy. Eventually he is overwhelmed. Thus history must judge a statesman not only by his accomplishments but his ability to escape international chaos. Given the tremendous restraints on the great man even the avoidance of catastrophe is a major triumph.23 It is significant that Kissinger’s statesmen-heroes and nearly all of his historical examples are European. This can be attributed in part to his German heritage and his fascination with nineteenth century “classical diplomacy.” However, there are other reasons why his heroes are Bismarck and Metternich rather than Jefferson and Lincoln. This is due to his perception of American history. Kissinger views the United States as an historical aberration. Like all nations the United States is a product of its historical experience. However, the American experience is completely alien to that of the European powers. America’s history has produced a great power but a nation devoid of the intellectual orientation and leadership necessary to act as a great power. It lacks the sense of responsibility and nuance and the global perspective required for international relations. These shortcomings are due to America’s peculiar historical development. Kissinger’s interpretation of American history was not the result of concentrated
study but derived informally from his Harvard colleagues. Most influential were the views of two of his closer friends, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Walt R o s t o ~ . ’ ~ From discussions with Schlesinger and Rostow, and his own observation of the American character, Kissinger concluded that the United States was an economic miracle but a diplomatic disaster. Ironically our ineffec*:.,fvlL;511 – – ._– wzlm uiiecily horn our p L ~ – .1.. -.domestic success. Kissinger accepts completely the consensus view of American history. The United States has had no great class conflicts or major disasters. America, to Kissinger, is a “society without fundamental social schisms and the product of an environment in which most recognized problems have proved soluble.” This very success has ill-equipped us to understand the inherent conflict that is history. “Nothing is more difficult for Americans to understand than the possibilities of disaster,” Kissinger argues. Thus we cannot really understand history or diplomacy. Protected for centuries by two oceans, we have developed an unnatural sense of security and only vague notions of international relations. “Peace seems to us the ‘normal’ relation among states,” Kissinger concludes. A successful foreign policy demands the acceptance of the opposite: conflict and war are the natural impulses of men and their nat i o n ~ ? ~ United States assumes that wars The and tension are caused by misunderstandings and lack of communication. The Kissinger view of history is that wars are caused by understanding and communicating all too well. It is not misunderstandings that bring conflict but opposing interests. Thus the United States, because of its historical experience, has assumed that all problems can be solved, that success comes easily, and that all nations have common aspirations. This, to Kissinger, is a misreading of history and the basis of a bankrupt and potentially disastrous foreign pol__C.__
icy. It ignores the history of international politics. It disregards the nuances and symbolic aspects of foreign policy, and it leads to heightened expectations and inevitable disappointments.26 Because of its unique history and economic success America’s foreign policy has been dominated by two classes particularily unsuited for the job: businessmen and lawyers. These groups are successfui in dealing with domestic problems because the solutions are essentially technical, but they are unable to understand international problems where the solutions demand creativity and ,flexibility. As a result American foreign policy has historically been “ad hoc, pragmatic, and somewhat mechanical.” We cannot comprehend the differing historical experiences of other nations. America’s material success and historical isolation have resulted in a great historical incongruity: the greatest of powers has had the most ineffective foreign policy?‘ Because Kissinger turned to history for insights into contemporary problems it is not surprising that his own actions have attempted to follow the precepts he derived from his study of the past. Kissinger has been criticized for trying to impose a nineteenth century framework on a twentieth century world. However, to Kissinger the principles and techniques of diplomacy are timeless. Kissinger readily admits that the post-World War I1 world is far different from that of nineteenth century classical diplomacy. The communications revolution has eliminated the luxury of reflection and delay. Technology has made foreign policy even more a matter of survival as a mistake is no longer merely hazardous but potentially fatal for all of mankind. Kissinger also points out that the number of participants in world politics has dramatically increased. No longer is foreign policy the exclusive property of the five great powers. (Although Kissinger’s actions seem to show
a desire to restore the classical “big five” by replacing Britain, France, Germany, Austria, and Russia, the dominant powers in the nineteenth century, with the United States, Western Europe, the Soviet Union, China, and Japan in the twentieth).
Most disturbing to Kissinger is the recent impact of ideology on foreign policy. National interests remain stable and make the world situation somewhat predictable, but ideology leads to irrationality and instability. Finally, Kissinger recognizes that domestic concerns are more crucial now than in the past. Leaders are more concerned with “striking a pose” than with “contributing to the international order.”** Although he acknowledges the differences between diplomacy in the past and the present, Kissinger maintains that the lessons of history can and should guide contemporary statesmen. While the framework of Metternich or Bismarck may no longer apply, the need for an agreed-upon conception of international politics remains. This new framework, the new “legitimate order,” must not only take into account the problems of ideology and nuclear weapons, but also the new elements of economics and the third world. Kissinger concedes that the latter two factors are new and baffling problems for the statesman. Bismarck never had to worry about votes in the United Nations and Metternich was not restricted by balance-of-payments problems. Kissinger admits that economics is an area beyond his knowledge or interest but has recognized its increasing importance in international relati0ns.2~ The problem of the third world, on the other hand, has been one of his major concerns for nearly two decades. Kissinger has argued repeatedly that America’s attempt to impose our values and ideology on the new nations is both futile and dangerous. Like all other nations the third world countries are the product of their history. Their historical development,
and thus their current self-image, is the result of anti-colonialism. The United States must recognize that “neutralism and anticolonialism are not so much a policy as a spiritual necessity” resulting from the former colonies’ need to reassure themselves of their independence.s0 The United States should disregard the anti-Western rhetoric of the neutral nations. Our over-sensitivity to verbal attacks from third world nations is a prime example of our failure to understand that it is the actions of a nation rather than its rhetoric that should determine foreign policy. What is dangerous in the third world is the possibility of a major power conflict. Neutralism and anti-colonialism have added a new element of instability to international affairs because the major powers’ preoccupation with the third world has distracted them from their major goal: construction of a peaceful framework among the great nations.s1 Kissinger thus recognizes that the axioms and techniques he has drawn from his historical studies must be adapted to a changed world. However, he affirms that the fundamental dilemma of history remains: how to impose some sort of temporary order on a world whose natural tendency is chaos. To Kissinger the answer is to emulate the methods of the great statesmen of the past. The great man, the man of vision and creativity, is still the only one who can impose an accepted international order. Clearly the great man, the intellectual and spiritual heir of Castlereagh, Metternich, and Bismarck, is Henry Kissinger. This is not merely a reflection of Kissinger’s sizable ego, but a fundamental lesson he has drawn from his study of the past. Great powers still have great responsibilities. As the greatest power the United States has the greatest responsibility. The statesman has a conception and a will but he must be supported by power. As it is the dominant modern power, the United States
has the obligation to lead in the construction of the new international order. As the architect of America’s foreign policy Kissinger accepts the responsibility for international stability that in his view has shifted from Europe to the United States. The situation has changed but the objectives and methods of foreign policy remain constant. Kissinger’s goals and techniques are those he feels were successful in the past. Kissinger’s deep distrust of the State Department’s bureaucracy is well known.82 This is not due simply to his jealousy of power, but to his belief in the destructive force of bureaucrats throughout history. Similarly, his preoccupation with secrecy and personal diplomacy are consistent with what he has concluded from his study of the classical diplomats. His cultivation of the media and aloofness from domestic politics are obvious attempts to maintain domestic support for his policies and to avoid the mistakes of Castlereagh, Wilson, and others who failed because they did not build the necessary internal political support for their foreign plans. Kissinger’s historical emphasis on the gifted individual as the one dominant force in international affairs is evident in his perception of his own role. I n a candid interview he summarized his methods: “I’ve always acted alone. Americans admire that enormously. Americans admire the cowboy leading the caravan alone astride his horse, the cowboy entering a village or city alone on his horse. , He acts, that’s all a
Wild West tale, if you Iike.”33 Kissinger’s self-image as a lone gunslinger is consistent with his entire view of history. Only the man of action free from the restraints of bureaucrats and institutions can succeed in imposing a framework for peace. H o w ever, Kissinger’s interpretation of history also argues that the great man is eventually doomed to failure. Nowhere has Kissinger claimed that he has solved the dilemma of history: how to make permanent the fragile framework of balanced antagonisms. Even though the statesman “manipulates reality” he cannot escape it. Kissinger has admitted that “history is greater than the individua1.9334 If Kissinger’s view of history is correct, the spectacular achievements of his own diplomacy are also bound to fail. Kissinger knows only too well the results of another failure. “Our generation has succeeded in stealing the fire of the gods,” he has written, “and it is doomed to live with the horror of its achievements.” If man cannot escape the “fatedness” of history and finally establish a permanent framework of peace he will bring on the ultimate tragedy of history: nuclear destruction. In A World Restored Kissinger argues that “perhaps Metternich’s policy should be measured not by its ultimate failure, but by the length of time it staved off inevitable d i s a ~ t e r . ”If ~ ~ Kissinger’s interpretation of the historica1 process is correct, he might well have written an assessment of his own diplomacy as well.
‘The best study of Kissinger and his ideas is Stephen R. Graubard, Kissinger; Portrait of a Mind (New York: W. W. Norton, 1973).
See also Michael Reskin’s provocative essay “An American Metternich: Henry A. Kissinger and the Global Balance of Power,” in Frank J. Merli and Theodore A. Wilson (eds.), Makers of Amen’can Diplomacy (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1974), 373-96. Other useful studies of Kissinger’s life and diplomacy are David Landau, Kissinger:
The Uses of Power (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1972) ; Henry Brandon, The Retreat of American Power (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1973): Marvin and Bernard Kalb, Kissinger (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 19741, Bernard Collier, “HOWDoes Henry Do It?” New York Times Magazine, November 14, 1971 and Joseph Kraft, “In Search of Kiosinger,” Harpers, 242 (January, 19711, 54-61. ‘Graubard, op. cit., 10.
’Henry A. Kissinger, A World Restored: T h e Politics of Conservatism in a Revolutionary Era (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 19641, 331. This was first published in 1957 with the subtitle Metternich, Castlereagh, and the Problem of Peace, 1812-1822; Olga Fallaci, “Breaking the Ice With Henry,” Writer‘s Digest, 53 (June, 1972) , 22-29. ’Graubard, op. cit., 15-17; Kissinger, A World Restored, 34Q-45. ‘Kissinger, “The Meaning of History: Reflections on Spengler, Toynbee, and Kant,” unpublished senior honors thesis, Harvard University, quoted in ibid., 6. %issinger, The Necessity of Choice: Prospects of American Foreign Policy (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co., 19621, 312-15. ‘Kissinger, “The Conservative Dilemma: Reflections on the Political Thought of Metternich,” American Political Science Review, 48 (December, 19541, 1017-30; A World Restored, 322. ‘Kissinger, “The Price of German Unity,” The Reporter, 32 (April 22, 19651, 12-17: Fallaci, op. cit., 28. ‘Kissinger, A World Restored, 1. ‘Olbid., 213, 324. nKissinger, “Domestic Structure and Foreign Policy,” Daedalus, 95 (Spring, 19661, 503-29. “Xissinger, “The White Revolutionary: Reflections on Bismarck,” Daedalus, 97 (Summer, 1968), 888-924: A World Restored, 14. See also The Necessity of Choice, 3. “Kissinger, “Reflections on Bismarck,” 889. “Kissinger, Nuclear, Weapons and Foreign Policy (New York: Harpers, 19571, 329-50. =Kissinger, “Reflections on Bismarck,” 922-23; Kissinger, “For An Atlantic Confederacy,” The Reporter, 24 (February 24, 19611, 16-20. “Kissinger, “Reflections on Bismarck,” 890. “Kissinger, A World Restored, 317, 329.
“Kissinger, “Domestic Structure and Foreign Policy,” 511. uKissinger, A World Restored, 313. %issinger, American Foreign Policy: Three Essays (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 19691, 57 : Kissinger, “Reflections on American Diplomacy,” Foreign Aflairs, 35 (October, 19561, 37-56. nKissinger, “Classical Diplomacy: The Congress of Vienna,” in John Stoessinger and Alan Westin (eds.1, Power and Order (New York: Harcourt Brace, and World, 1964), 1-32. “Kissinger, “Domestic Structure and Foreign Policy,” 512-13: A World Restored, 328; Nuclear Teapons and Foreign Policy, 423-24. %issinger, A World Restored, 28-29. “Graubard, op. cit., 175-76. “Kissinger, “Domestic Structure and Foreign Policy,” 523; The Necessity of Choice, 1, 182. “Kissinger, “Reflections on American Diplomacy,” 38-48. “Kissinger, “Domestic Structure and Foreign Policy,” 515; American Foreign Policy, 71. “Kissinger, American Foreign Policy, 53-57. P John P. Leacacos, “Kissinger’s Apparat,” Foreign Policy, 5 (Winter, 1971-19721, 3-27. *‘Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, 258-59; Kissinger, “The New Cult of Neutralism,” The Reporter, 28 (November 24, 1960), 26-29. “Kissinger, “Reflections on Power and Diplomacy,” in E. A. S. Johnson, (ed.), The Dimensions of Diplomacy (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 19641, 17-39. =Leacacos, “Kissinger’s Apparat.” See also L M. Destler, “Can One Man Do It?” Foreign Policy, 5 (Winter, 1971-1972), 28-40. *Fallaci, op. cit., 27. ”Kissinger, A World Restored, 213. See also “The Conservative Dilemma,” 1030. ”Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Poticy, 65: A World Restored, 28-29.