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The British approach, Mr. Kissinger contends, requires too much ruthlessness and resolve for Americans.


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Much of his concluding chapter illustrates this thesis, arguing that America should maintain close relationships with nations that are potentially rivals, much as Bismarck did with Russia and Austria-Hungary. Kissinger advises, for example, that the United States keep tight ties with Bonn Berlin and with Moscow. Germany and Russia then will not "fixate on each other as either principal partner or principal adversary. Kissinger asserts, "it cannot wait until the balance is already in jeopardy. The strength of "Diplomacy" lies in its marriage of vision and shrewdness.

Most commentary on foreign policy lacks one quality or the other or both. Scholars tend to have vision but lack common sense, journalists to be level-headed but shortsighted.

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Kissinger writes that "determining the limits of power requires a blend of experience and insight, and constant adjustment to circumstance. In theory, of course, the balance of power should be quite calculable; in practice, it has proved extremely difficult to work out realistically. Kissinger says. He warns later, "A statesman can always escape his dilemmas by making the most favorable assumptions about the future; one of his tests is his ability to protect against unfavorable and even unforeseen contingencies. THE weaknesses of "Diplomacy" as a history are surprising as well as disappointing.

When he was a scholar, Mr. Kissinger wrote good professional history.


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  • Yet here he gets facts wrong, and conveys little or no sense of how diplomacy and statecraft evolved. To cite just three examples: Mr.

    Diplomatic Theory from Machiavelli to Kissinger

    Kissinger says that Wilson's doctrine of self-determination "put European diplomats on thoroughly unfamiliar terrain. In fact, while self-determination may have been uncongenial to European diplomats, it was not unfamiliar. Long before Wilson's Fourteen Points, Europeans had heard self-determination preached ardently by, among others, the leading newspaper publishers in Milan and London. Splits on self-determination were intra-European as well as American-European. The comment about Lloyd George is both wrong and unjust.

    The promise to squeeze the German lemon's pips came from Sir Eric Geddes, a businessman turned politician -- one of those "hard-faced men who looked as if they had done well out of the war," in the words of a later Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. Geddes's phrase caused trouble for Lloyd George, who clung to a last-ditch hope that public opinion would not demand unreasonable reparations from just-defeated Germany.

    AS for the Hossbach memorandum, it recorded a meeting involving only seven people: Hitler himself, Col. Friedrich Hossbach who took the notes , the foreign minister, the war minister and the commanders in chief of the army, air force and navy. Not even the chief of staff of the army was officially informed. These facts are doubly significant because many German generals later denied knowing Hitler's intentions.

    Their protestations smoothed Germany's cold-war rearmament. While scholarly research has since established that many generals actually knew more than they admitted, Mr. Kissinger's mistaken description of the Hossbach memorandum blurs understanding not only of the Third Reich but also of the German Federal Republic.

    In providing a sense of the evolution of statecraft, "Diplomacy" is particularly weak. It skips whole epochs.

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    After a vignette of Richelieu, who died in , comes one of William III, who was England's king a half-century later. Other figures of the 17th and 18th centuries are invisible. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Otte Editor ,. Geoff Berridge.

    Studies in Diplomacy: Diplomatic Theory from Machiavelli to Kissinger (2001, Hardcover, Revised)

    Maurice Keens-Soper. This book offers an introductory guide to four centuries of diplomatic thought. It examines the thought of some of the most important thinkers--Machiavelli, Guicciardini, Grotius, Richelieu, Wiequefort, Callieres, Satow, and Kissinger. Get A Copy.

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    Hardcover , pages. Published May 18th by Palgrave Macmillan first published May 4th More Details Does international law have any impact on state behavior? What do you know about the book? A discussion on the structure and mechanisms of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Maybe a Visit to the MofA To be decided later 3. Lecture: Berridge: pp 2. In-class Workshop: Diplomacy Simulation A short simulation on diplomacy and international relations that requires active participation of the students. Details will be announced when time comes. Related Papers. By Ismail Erkam Sula. Political Science Peace and Diplomacy Fall By Mila Dragojevic.


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    History of Diplomacy : Realpolitik

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