On China by Henry Kissinger

60%

17 Critic Reviews

What a pity for the remarkable legacy of Mr. Kissinger, who did so much to steer China toward its best traditions—and so little to steer it away from its worst ones.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

"Fascinating, shrewd . . . The book deftly traces the rhythms and patterns of Chinese history." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book length to a country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. On China illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and tight line modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, and Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing. With a new final chapter on the emerging superpower’s twenty-first-century role in global politics and economics, On China provides historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of our time.

 

About Henry Kissinger

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HENRY KISSINGER served as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Medal of Liberty, among other awards.
 
Published May 17, 2011 by Penguin Books. 623 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 05 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for On China
All: 17 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 6

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by MAX FRANKEL on May 13 2011

Diplomatically speaking, he owns the franchise; and with “On China,” as he approaches 88, he reflects on his remarkable run.

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NY Times

Good
on May 09 2011

...fascinating, shrewd and sometimes perverse...

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Guardian

Below average
on May 21 2011

Kissinger has no curiosity at all: he never looks behind the curtain, let alone listens to spokesmen of the Chinese opposition.

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Guardian

Good
on May 15 2011

...this elegantly written and erudite book reminds us that on one of the biggest questions of the post-second world war world his judgment was right...

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WSJ online

Below average
on May 12 2011

What a pity for the remarkable legacy of Mr. Kissinger, who did so much to steer China toward its best traditions—and so little to steer it away from its worst ones.

Read Full Review of On China | See more reviews from WSJ online

The Economist

Below average
on May 19 2011

Optimistically, Mr Kissinger insists that “were history confined to the mechanical repetition of the past, no transformation would ever have occurred.” But on how to avoid such repetition, he is disappointingly vague.

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LA Times

Excellent
on May 29 2011

Lovers of diplomatic history may delight...in his review of the misconceptions...Ordinary readers, however, may be more drawn to Kissinger's entertaining and sometimes gossipy accounts of his meetings with China's most august leaders.

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The Telegraph

Good
on Jun 03 2011

On China has a fascinating analysis of Kissinger’s encounters with the Chinese leaders. I enjoyed his take on Mao’s exchanges with Stalin and Khrushchev.

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The Telegraph

Above average
on May 20 2011

...its reflections on strategy make a lot more sense than Mao ever did.

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Huffington Post

Below average
on Jun 29 2011

...Dr. Kissinger is demonstrably a man of appallingly callous moral judgment, most notoriously exemplified by his...statement that "if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern."

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Slate

Good
Reviewed by James Mann on May 30 2011

The result is a nostalgic and curiously reverential account. As an author, Kissinger has many admirable qualities. He remains, by virtue of his earlier work, easily the best memoirist of any American secretary of state or president in the modern era.

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DNA

Excellent
on Jun 26 2011

Whilst scanning this vast sweep of history, the narrative holds interest by maintaining a good pace, each chapter closing with a tantalising sentence that tempts the reader to turn the page, almost like a thriller.

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Business Week

Good
on Jun 23 2011

While Henry Kissinger doesn't quote Mario Puzo, Don Corleone's maxim, "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer," echoes throughout his grand, sweeping tutorial, On China.

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Chicago Sun Times

Above average
on May 12 2011

In On China , statesman Henry Kissinger draws on historical records and 40 years of direct interaction with four generations of Chinese leaders to analyze the link between China’s ancient past and its present day trajectory.

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The New York Review of Books

Above average
on Jun 09 2011

...the book is highly idiosyncratic, for it is not exactly a memoir, or a monograph, or an autobiography; rather it is part reminiscence, part reflection, part history, and part intuitive exploration.

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Literary Review

Below average

There is a deep conceptual hole in Kissinger's analysis...

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eInternational Relations

Good
on Jul 07 2011

...the book reads like a guide book to future American diplomats...In writing this Kissinger pays close attention to the difference in Chinese and Western foreign policy styles, threat perceptions and concepts of deterrence.

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Reader Rating for On China
77%

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