- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Henry Kissinger
- Publish Date: 2014-09-09
Walter Isaacson, Time:
âDazzling and instructive... [a] magisterial new book.â
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 eraâadvising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decadesâKissinger 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 âworld order,â 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 worldâs 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 democracyâa 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 Kissingerâs 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 administrationâs negotiations with Hanoi over the end of the Vietnam War, as well as Ronald Reaganâs tense debates with Soviet Premier Gorbachev in ReykjavÃk. He offers compelling insights into the future of U.S.âChina relations and the evolution of the European Union, and examines lessons of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taking readers from his analysis of nuclear negotiations with Iran through the Westâs response to the Arab Spring and tensions with Russia over Ukraine, World Order anchors Kissingerâs 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 policymaker and diplomat.
Hillary Clinton, The Washington Post:
âIt is vintage Kissinger, with his singular combination of breadth and acuity along with his knack for connecting headlines to trend lines. â
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
[C]ould not be more timely...Â the book puts the problems of todayâs world and Americaâs role in that increasingly interconnected and increasingly riven world into usefulâand often illuminatingâcontext.
The Financial Times
âKissingerâs conclusion deserves to be read and understood by all candidates ahead of the 2016 presidential election. World order depends on it.â
John Micklethwait, The New York Times Book Review
âIf you think America is doing just fine, then skip ahead to the poetry reviews.Â If, however, you worry about a globe spinning out of control, then World Order is for you.