- Published on Wednesday, 07 October 2015 11:42
- Category: Books and Reviews
- Written by Dmitry Shlapentokh
Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the shadow of genocide. By: Thomas de Waal. Publisher: Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom 2015.
Let us briefly consider the epic career of Henry Kissinger – for in this case, “epic” really is the correct word. This is a man (a German Jew who fled Germany in 1938) who fought in the Second World War in the European theatre, earned his PhD in political science at Harvard University and later went on to serve as both national security adviser and secretary of state to US President Richard Nixon (for a time holding these positions simultaneously), and finally as secretary of state to President Gerald Ford. Between 1969 and 1977 Kissinger maintained a large degree of influence over US foreign policy, particularly in pursuing détente with the Soviet Union; establishing formal diplomatic relations between the US and China; and also in his efforts to help end the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. It is no exaggeration to say that in certain areas his legacy as secretary of state is still felt today. When reviewing his accomplishments, it is hard to draw parallels between the career of Kissinger and those of other statesmen.
The English philosopher Francis Bacon once said, "randomness leads to great discoveries."