The 99-year-old former secretary of state has just published a book on leadership and sees a dangerous lack of strategic purpose in U.S. foreign policy about the risk of war between U.S. and Russia and China. Dal Wall Street Journal.
At 99 years old, Henry Kissinger has just published his 19th book, “Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy.” It is an analysis of the vision and historical achievements of an idiosyncratic pantheon of post-World War II leaders: Konrad Adenauer, Charles DeGaulle, Richard Nixon, Anwar Sadat, Lee Kuan-Yew and Margaret Thatcher.
In the 1950s, “before I was involved in politics,” Mr. Kissinger tells me in his midtown Manhattan office on a steamy day in July, “my plan was to write a book about the making of peace and the ending of peace in the 19th century, starting with the Congress of Vienna, and that turned into a book, and then I had about a third of a book written on Bismarck, and it was going to end with the outbreak of World War I.” The new book, he says, “is a kind of continuation. It’s not just a contemporary reflection.”
All six figures profiled in “Leadership,” says the former secretary of state and national security adviser, were shaped by what he calls the “second Thirty Years’ War,” the period from 1914 to 1945, and contributed to molding the world that followed it. And all combined, in Mr. Kissinger’s view, two archetypes of leadership: the farsighted pragmatism of the statesman and the visionary boldness of the prophet.