Home >> News

Understanding Kissinger

Updated: 2018-05-18 10:13:39

( China Daily )

Share on

The biography written by British historian Niall Ferguson also looks at Kissinger's intellectual capital. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The first part of Niall Ferguson's biography of former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who turns 95 later this month, has just been published in China. Fang Aiqing reports.

More than 40 years has passed since Henry Kissinger was US secretary of state. Yet his voice still matters. And Kissinger's counsel and contributions to the bilateral relationship are still respected by Chinese leaders.

As Kissinger - a key figure in Sino-US relations since the 1970s - turns 95 on May 27, a Chinese version of Kissinger: 1923-1968 The Idealist, the first part of the two-volume biography of the man by British historian Niall Ferguson, has been published in China, three years after its release in the US.

Ferguson describes Kissinger as "the rarest of intellectuals who made it in the realm of power" and his biography, while looking at Kissinger's early years before his appointment as US president Richard Nixon's national security adviser, also looks at his intellectual capital that Ferguson thinks has been insufficiently studied.

In 2016, the biography won the Arthur Ross Book Award from the US Council on Foreign Relations, which rewards non-fiction books that make an outstanding contribution to the understanding of foreign policy or international relations.

A New York Times review in 2015 says of the book, "if Kissinger's official biographer cannot be accused of falling for his subject's justifiably famed charm, he certainly gives the reader enough evidence to conclude that Henry Kissinger is one of the greatest Americans in the history of the Republic, someone who has been repulsively traduced over several decades and who deserved to have a defense of this comprehensiveness published years ago."

Ferguson thinks it is important for the Chinese to understand Kissinger's early life.

"I'm constantly reminded of how many crucial decisions were taken in the period when Kissinger was in office, but nowhere I think has his role had more profound consequences than in China.

"And he was the only one individual who was involved at every juncture of US-China relations, from the very beginning right down to the present day."

Ferguson, 54, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, is an internationally renowned author of several highly successful books, including The House of Rothschild and The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.

1 2 3 Next
Editor's Pick
Hot words
Most Popular