1973, the Crucial Year
By Alistair Horne
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9780743272834, 480pp.)
Publication Date: June 16, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Kissinger: 1973, The Crucial Year is the gripping history of one of America's most enigmatic and influential foreign policy advisers during a pivotal year in the country's postwar history.
By any measure, 1973 was not an ordinary year. It should have been Kissinger's year of triumph -- a time to bask in his hard-won achievements and build on his successes. Kissinger's strategy of opening the door to China and détente with the Soviet Union had been judged an overwhelming success. After furthering his policy of realpolitik through backchannel diplomacy during Nixon's first term, Kissinger was finally awarded the plum position of secretary of state. But then major events shattered whatever peace and calm America had attained in the early part of the decade: first came defeat in Vietnam; then Watergate, culminating in the president's resignation; war in the Middle East; and finally an economic collapse caused by the Arab oil embargo. All of these momentous blows to the country's security occurred on Henry Kissinger's watch. Rather than progressing on all fronts, as he had expected, Kissinger would confront some of the most critical policy challenges of his career.
Based on full access to the subject and his papers, Kissinger is an intimate portrait of a man, a country, and a presidency at a critical point. From the blowup in the Middle East, to détente with Russia, to the opening of the door to China, the United States' response to the pivotal events of 1973 -- and Kissinger's crucial role in the formulation of that response -- continues to shape and influence United States foreign policy today.
Alistair Horne, the author of, most recently, Seven Ages of Paris, The Age of Napoleon, and The French Revolution, is a fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. He was awarded the French LÉgion d’honneur in 1993 and received a knighthood in 2003 for his work on French history. His books include Back into Power, Small Earthquake in Chile, The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916, To Lose a Battle: France 1940, The French Army and Politics, 1870–1970, A Bundle from Britain, an d A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954–1962. His latest books are. He lives in Oxfordshire.