Henry Alfred Wolfgang Kissinger (born Heinz Alfred Wolfgang Kissinger on May 27, 1923), pronounced /ˈkɪsɪndʒər/, is an American political scientist, diplomat, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as both National Security Advisor and later as Secretary of State in the Nixon Administration and the Ford Administration.
Kissinger was born in Germany in 1923. As a German Jew, it was not safe for him to stay in Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power, and he left for the United States in 1933. He fought for the US against the Nazis in World War Two.
Kissinger was Richard Nixon's most trusted advisor on foreign affairs. He was in government during the Cold War and promoted what he called "realpolitik" in dealing with the Soviet Union and Communist China. He was a major force behind the 1973 ceasefire in the Vietnam War. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for the ceasefire, but the agreement fell apart in 1975. Under Kissinger, the US opened up relations to China, which is considered one of his biggest successes. He also supported détente, an easing of the rivalry with the Soviets.
In his later years, Kissinger — along with William Perry, Sam Nunn, and George Shultz — called upon governments to reduce nuclear weapons, and in three Wall Street Journal articles proposed a program of urgent steps to that end. The four have created the Nuclear Security Project to advance this cause.
His legacy is often debated by historians. Some people criticize him, even calling him a criminal, for his tactics during the cold war, notably supporting a military junta in Chile and backing Pakistan during the Bangladesh War. Many people, however, consider Kissinger a great figure in modern American history who ended the Vietnam War, opened up China, and supported peace in the Cold War.
- Isaacson, pp 20.
- "Definition of KISSINGER". www.merriam-webster.com.
- "Ex-US Secretary of State Kissinger hospitalized". Retrieved 2010-03-13.
- Maclin, Beth (2008-10-20) "A Nuclear weapon-free world is possible, Nunn says", Belfer Center, Harvard University. Retrieved on 2008-10-21.
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- Annotated Bibliography for Henry Kissinger from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
- Official Website of Henry A. Kissinger
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- "Charlie Rose" A conversation with Henry Kissinger, December 16, 2008
- Henry Kissinger speaks at the Asia Society, NYC, February 2007
- Kissinger's political donations
- NPR: Kissinger Speech at National Press Club. Towards the end [55:55], he responds to Hitchens.