In this deeply thoughtful, meticulously researched work, Barry Gewen looks at Henry Kissinger’s life experiences — in particular, his teen years as a Jew in Bavaria living under Nazi persecution — and crucially places Kissinger’s pessimistic thought in a European context. Gewen also explores the links between Kissinger’s notions of power and those of his mentor, Hans Morgenthau, as well as Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt, both German-Jewish émigrés who shared his concerns about the weaknesses of democracy. Notoriously, Kissinger believed that foreign affairs ought to be based primarily on the power relationships of a situation, not simply on ethics. Many today dismiss Kissinger as a latter-day Machiavelli, ignoring the breadth and complexity of his thought. With The Inevitability of Tragedy, Gewen corrects this shallow view, presenting the fascinating story of Kissinger’s development as both a strategist and an intellectual and examining his unique role in government. The Inevitability of Tragedy offers a nuanced, thought-provoking perspective on the origins of Kissinger’s sober worldview and argues that a reconsideration of his career is essential at a time when American foreign policy lacks direction.
The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World
- From the Publisher
September 1, 2019
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