Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy

Penguin Pr. Jul. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593489444. $36. POL SCI
Former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Kissinger (Diplomacy; World Order) fulfills expectations with a reflective, contextual analysis of 20th century political leaders he knew. They are ascribed with their distinctive approaches (strategies) to problem solving: Adenauer—humility after Germany’s WWII defeat; de Gaulle—willpower; Nixon—geopolitical equilibrium; Sadat—transcendence over conflict; Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew—imaginative excellence; and Thatcher—iron-willed discipline. Kissinger bookends accounts of these acquaintances with definitions of leadership and criticism of current trends, such as the shift from pensive print to more polarizing visual culture. That arguably stifles the appearance of similar figures. True goal setters are not visionaries but pragmatic managers, who derive their strength and sense of self by studying the humanities and from deep, religious convictions. They connect their “Westphalian” defined nation and states’ pasts and futures by being public educators with courage (virtue) and character (values.) Both generalists and specialists should note that Kissinger positively describes the non-ideological Nixon, a fellow practitioner of detente and Realpolitik, as often willing to do the unconventional and provocative.
VERDICT Recommended for Kissinger’s distinctive perspectives imbedded in scholarly, readable prose.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing