Diplomacy, Volume 1

Front Cover
Simon & Schuster, 1994 - History - 912 pages
132 Reviews
In this controversial and monumental book - arguably his most important - Henry Kissinger illuminates just what diplomacy is. Moving from a sweeping overview of his own interpretation of history to personal accounts of his negotiations with world leaders, Kissinger describes the ways in which the art of diplomacy and the balance of power have created the world we live in, and shows how Americans, protected by the size and isolation of their country, as well as by their own idealism and mistrust of the Old World, have sought to conduct a unique kind of foreign policy based on the way they wanted the world to be, as opposed to the way it really is.
Spanning more than three centuries of history, from Cardinal Richelieu, the father of the modern state system, to the "New World Order" in which we live, Kissinger demonstrates how modern diplomacy emerged from the trials and experiences of the balance of power of warfare and peacemaking, and why America, sometimes to its peril, refused to learn its lessons.
His intimate portraits of world leaders, including de Gaulle, Nixon, Chou En-lai, Mao Tse-tung, Reagan, and Gorbachev, based on personal experience and knowledge, provide the reader with a rare window on diplomacy at the summit, together with a wealth of detailed and original observations on the secret negotiations, great events, and the art of statesmanship that have shaped our lives in the decades before, during and since Henry Kissinger was himself at the center of things
Analyzing the differences in the national styles of diplomacy, Kissinger shows how various societies produce special ways of conducting foreign policy, and how Americans, from the very beginning, sought a distinctive foreign policy based on idealism. He illustrates his points with his own insights and with examples from his own experience, as well as with candid accounts of his breakthrough diplomatic initiatives as Nixon's foreign policy partner.
Informed by deep historical knowledge, wit, a gift for irony, and a unique understanding of the forces that bind and sunder nations, Kissinger's Diplomacy is must reading for anyone who cares about America's position in the world.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Kissinger's prose is exquisite. - Goodreads
The style of writing is clearly meant for ser - Goodreads
Gives an insight in the world history. - Goodreads
The style of writing however is quite ambiguous. - Goodreads
It's a keeper as a reference tool. - Goodreads

Review: Diplomacy

User Review  - Adriaan Jansen - Goodreads

It is not easy to determine what kind of book Henry Kissinger's ''Diplomacy'' is. ''Diplomacy'' is at least 6 different books: It starts out as an essay about the different views of two early 20th ... Read full review

Review: Diplomacy

User Review  - David Lefevere - Goodreads

I'm not totally ok with his views on some things, but one has to admit that Kissinger is a great historian and knows what he's talking about. A book that everyone has to read ! Every coin has two sides, look at both. Read full review


The New World Order
Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson
Richelieu William of Orange and Pitt

30 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1994)

Henry Alfred Kissinger was a member of the faculty of Harvard University.

Bibliographic information