Customer Reviews for

Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    Very informative

    Was good book in showing the relationship between these men. Very well researched. At times, was hard to follow the sequence of events.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2008

    Flawed heroes or war criminals?

    Robert Dallek, biographer of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, has now written an account of the Nixon presidency, but it is not as good as Seymour Hersh¿s magnificent The Price of Power. In July 1968 Nixon and Kissinger told President Thieu of South Vietnam to reject US calls to begin participating in peace talks. In doing so, they broke the US law against private citizens conducting diplomatic negotiations. Nixon campaigned on a platform of ending the war, yet sabotaged Johnson¿s final efforts to negotiate, and then escalated the war. Nixon and Kissinger always opposed unilateral withdrawal. They aimed to continue the US aggression against Vietnam until victory could be achieved. When they talked of an `honourable settlement¿, they meant one that achieved all the USA¿s war aims. More US soldiers would have to die so that the earlier deaths would not have been in vain, which, absurdly, equates to saving the dead. Nixon and Kissinger cruelly indulged in sunshine talk about the war, promising the American people that one last push, one more invasion, would bring victory. But the truth was that the USA had lost. There was no alternative to withdrawal: their only choice was whether to end the war swiftly, or end it a bit later after killing yet more Vietnamese and having even more American soldiers killed pointlessly '20,000 were killed under Nixon'. Nixon and Kissinger never grasped that a quick exit from Vietnam would have helped, not undermined, US credibility. They never asked other governments what they thought about a speedy exit. Détente was just a cynical device to try to divide Vietnam from its allies, and it failed. Dallek concludes that Nixon and Kissinger¿s policy towards Vietnam ¿was a disaster. Administration actions destabilized Cambodia, expended thousands of American, Vietnamese and Cambodian lives, gained no real advantage and divided the country.¿ Actually, Nixon virtually united the country against him and against the war: by 1969, 71% of the American people wanted Nixon to withdraw 100,000 troops from Vietnam by the end of the year. Nixon and Kissinger claimed that their policies were realistic and intelligent, but neither could see that the Vietnamese people were justly fighting for their national liberation. Nixon and Kissinger were not the tragic, flawed heroes that Dallek portrays but despicable war criminals.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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