“Dazzling and instructive . . . [a] magisterial new book.” —Walter Isaacson, Time
"An astute analysis that illuminates many of today's critical international issues." —Kirkus Reviews
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 era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger 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 “world order,” 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 world’s 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 democracy—a 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 Kissinger’s 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 administration’s negotiations with Hanoi over the end of the Vietnam War, as well as Ronald Reagan’s tense debates with Soviet Premier Gorbachev in Reykjavík. He offers compelling insights into the future of U.S.–China relations and the evolution of the European Union, and he examines lessons of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taking readers from his analysis of nuclear negotiations with Iran through the West’s response to the Arab Spring and tensions with Russia over Ukraine, World Order anchors Kissinger’s 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 policy maker and diplomat. Kissinger is also the author of On China.
Europe The Pluralistic International Order II
The European BalanceofPower System
The Russian Enigma 49 The Congress of Vienna 59 The Premises
The Sick Man of Europe
Revolutionary TideTwo Philosophical Interpretations 118 The Arab Spring
The Tradition of Iranian Statecraft 149 The Khomeini
Asias International Order and China 213 China and World Order 221
Acting for All Mankind The United States
America as a World
Franklin Roosevelt and the New World Order
The Beginning of the Cold War 280 Strategies of a Cold War Order 283
The Korean War 288 Vietnam and the Breakdown of the National
The Beginning of Renewal 308 Ronald Reagan and the End of
World Order in the Nuclear Age 331 The Challenge of Nuclear
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