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World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History by [Kissinger, Henry]
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World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Review

Henry Kissinger ... still has remarkable influence. Reading this book, you can see why ... the wit, clarity and concision of his chapters on Europe, America and jihadism are bracing (Economist)

Part history, part lecture, part memoir ... Kissinger's conclusion deserves to be read and understood by all candidates ahead of the 2016 presidential election. World order depends on it (Lionel Barber Financial Times)

About the Author

Henry Kissinger served in the US Army during the Second World War and subsequently held teaching posts in history and government at Harvard University for twenty years. He served as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and has advised many other American presidents on foreign policy. He received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Medal of Liberty, among other awards. He is the author of numerous books and articles on foreign policy and diplomacy, and is currently Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3057 KB
  • Print Length: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (9 Sept. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00MQA5OO4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,594 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You know a book is worth reading when it gives voice and language to an idea or an unease that you have in the back of your own mind but are unable to articulate.

This book does this with bells on.

We all know as we watch the news that what we are seeing is a number of world power and non nation states all pushing (in some cases violently) there own agendas of how the World should be......but why this happens and how we have arrived here....and what we may do about it....does not really fit into our 24 hour news agenda.

What this book does magnificently is articulate what is going on in the background as "World Order" tries to sort itself out.

I would highly recommend it, and i will certainly be reading more of what Kissinger has written....his book on China looks very interesting.

Highlights include:

Summary of just where USA, China, Russia and Islamic Countries are coming from in there fundamental approaches to diplomacy and why they differ so much.

Munroe Doctrine discussion

Discussion on Stalins view of Hitler as a "sui-generis representative of the Capitalist system, not an aberration from it"

The chapter on Modern Technology and World order is brilliant and the discussion on the differences between, "information, Knowledge and Wisdom" leading to the issue around World Order that "problems and solutions are not much to be thought through as to looked up"

Finally the challenge that "the international economic system has become Global, while the political structure of the world has remained based on the nation state"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read two of Kissinger’s previous works, “Diplomacy” and “On China”, and thought that both were excellent. Diplomacy provides a compelling analysis of the balance of power over the past few centuries (i.e., Kissinger as academic). "On China" gives a the reader a compelling close up look at the diplomatic manoeuvring during the rapprochement with China (i.e., Kissinger as statesman). With this in mind, I found “World Order” not particularly interesting. There wasn’t much new thinking as such and it refrained from critical analysis for the most part. The global overview chapters reads like a cut and paste job from previous works (perhaps written by the research assistant). The chapters on American foreign policy were mainly a roll call of all the great deeds by US presidents and praise for the universal values espoused (where new heights were reached during the Nixon era).

The technology chapter is an attempt incorporate more modern issues, like social media, into the discussion. There are some interesting points raised on the impact of mass information on crowd behaviour and independent thought. Kissinger then warns on the resulting dangers of mass consensus driven by demagoguery and the subordination of foreign policy to domestic objectives as a result. Elections, for example, are turning into media contests between “master operators of the Internet”. However, US presidential elections, especially, had already become media spectacles decades ago as evidenced by the fund raising requirements for political TV advertisements. Interestingly, while the chapter does mention big data, there was no discussion on the significance of government programs like the NSA (or GCHQ, its equivalent in the UK).
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Format: Hardcover
I have read most of Henry Kissinger's previously published books and reviewed several of them. In my opinion, his latest -- World Power -- is the most valuable thus far because it addresses a challenge that the human race faces in months and years to come, one that it has never faced before: the possibility of total global chaos.

Consider these observations by Kissinger in the Introduction: "No truly global 'world power' has ever existed. What passes for order in our time was devised in Western Europe nearly four centuries ago, at a peace conference in the German region of Westphalia, conducted without the involvement or even the awareness of most other continents or civilizations." Without a global world power, obviously, there can be no world order.

The title of my review refers to a number of compelling questions and the first one posed in the Introduction is a whopper: "Are we facing a period in which forces beyond the constraints of any order determine the future?" Here are some others to which Kissinger also responds:

o What is the relevance of the Westphalian System to world order? So what?
o To what extent has Islamism threatened world order throughout the last 1,000 years?
o To what extent does Islamism (or at least radical Islamism) threaten world order today?
o What can be learned from the relationship between the U.S. and Iran during the last 50 years?
o What is the relevance of Asian multiplicity to world order?
0 What are the various stages of development of the U.S. foreign policies with regard to world order since Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901?
o Insofar as world order is concerned, what valuable lessons can be learned from the Cold War?
o Are nuclear military power and world order incompatible?
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