The definitive biography of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and how his ideas still resonate in the world today from the bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs.
By the time Henry Kissinger was made secretary of state in 1973, he had become, according to the Gallup Poll, the most admired person in America and one of the most unlikely celebrities ever to capture the world's imagination. Yet Kissinger was also reviled by large segments of the American public, ranging from liberal intellectuals to conservative activists. Kissinger explores the relationship between this complex man’s personality and the foreign policy he pursued. Drawing on extensive interviews with Kissinger as well as 150 other sources, including US presidents and his business clients, this first full-length biography makes use of many of Kissinger’s private papers and classified memos to tell his uniquely American story. The result is an intimate narrative, filled with surprising revelations, that takes this grandly colorful statesman from his childhood as a persecuted Jew in Nazi Germany, through his tortured relationship with Richard Nixon, to his later years as a globe-trotting business consultant.
About the Author
Walter Isaacson is the bestselling author of biographies of Jennifer Doudna, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. He is a professor of history at Tulane and was CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2023. Visit him at Isaacson.Tulane.edu.
"Endlessly fascinating...A brilliant and disturbing study of power." -- The New York Times
"Confirms Kissinger's place as one of the great international players, and takes him down a peg as well....Kissinger will rave about the parts he likes and rage about the rest....This makes for compulsive reading." -- Peter Jennings, ABC News
"Wonderful, entertaining, definitive biography." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Meticulously researched, intelligent and fair...a book full of insights." -- The Washington Post
"A solidly researched, richly textured, and extremely readable account of a man in dramatic times who seemed bigger than life." -- The Boston Sunday Globe