Gleanings from Henry Kissinger’s Teachings for the Contemporary Era

The content discusses the author’s experiences with Henry Kissinger, a well-known politician and diplomat. In their first meeting, Kissinger attempted to take over the author’s car. The two had many engaging conversations, including one where the author asked Kissinger about his memories of the day the Berlin Wall came down. It was a memory that Kissinger, even at the age of 95, still had a vivid recollection of.

The author’s interest in Kissinger’s work began at a young age when they received a copy of Kissinger’s book “Diplomacy” as a gift. The book quickly became a favorite and was the author’s introduction to classical realism. Despite criticisms of the book, Kissinger’s focus on the politicians who made history instead of the historical events themselves was an important and valuable perspective.

The article also discusses Kissinger’s achievements and criticisms, including his involvement in Vietnam, Chile, Rhodesia, Egypt, and Bangladesh. Kissinger’s pursuit of geopolitical equilibrium and a stable order despite the nuclear arms race is described as a realistic vision needed more than ever in today’s multipolar world. The article concludes with Kissinger’s own reflections on his career and the importance of not torturing oneself with regrets.

Overall, the content highlights the complexity and nuance of Kissinger’s career, while also emphasizing the timeless virtues of intellectual curiosity and a realistic approach to foreign policy.

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