Download Kissinger: Volume I: 1923-1968: The Idealist Audiobook

Kissinger: Volume I: 1923-1968: The Idealist Audiobook, by Niall Ferguson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Niall Ferguson Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2015 ISBN: 9781455834518
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The definitive biography of Henry Kissinger, based on unprecedented access to his private papers

No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Once hailed as “Super-K”—the “indispensable man” whose advice has been sought by every president from Kennedy to Obama—he has also been hounded by conspiracy theorists, scouring his every “telcon” for evidence of Machiavellian malfeasance. Yet as Niall Ferguson shows in this magisterial biography, the idea of Kissinger as the ruthless arch-realist is based on a profound misunderstanding. Drawing not only on Kissinger’s hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than a hundred archives around the world, Ferguson argues that the true foundation of Kissinger’s thought is philosophical idealism—combined with history itself.

The first half of Kissinger’s life is usually skimmed over as a quintessential tale of American ascent: the Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Germany who made it to the White House. But in this first of two volumes, Ferguson shows that what Kissinger achieved before his appointment as Richard Nixon’s national security adviser was astonishing in its own right. Toiling as a teenager in a New York factory, he studied indefatigably at night. He was drafted into the U.S. infantry and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge—as well as the liberation of a concentration camp—but ended his army career interrogating Nazis. It was at Harvard that Kissinger found his vocation. Having immersed himself in the philosophy of Kant and the diplomacy of Metternich, he shot to celebrity by arguing for “limited nuclear war.” Nelson Rockefeller hired him. Kennedy called him to Camelot. Yet Kissinger’s rise was anything but irresistible. Dogged by press gaffes and disappointed by “Rocky,” Kissinger seemed stuck—until a trip to Vietnam changed everything.

The Idealist is the story of the single most important strategic thinker America has ever produced. It is also a political Bildungsroman, explaining how “Dr. Strangelove” ended up as consigliere to a politician he had always abhorred. Like Ferguson’s classic two-volume history of the House of Rothschild, Kissinger sheds dazzling new light on an entire era. The essential account of an extraordinary life, it recasts the cold war world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Combine careful and extensive scholarship, clear writing, and a magnificent subject and you get Niall Ferguson on Kissinger, a genuinely educational read.”

    George P. Shultz, former director of the United States Office of Management and Budget

  • “Always thorough, often surprising, at times deeply moving, this is an extraordinary biography of the most significant scholar-statesman-strategist of our time, by one of our most accomplished historians. Not to be missed.”

    John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University

  • “Reading effortlessly, Hillgartner engages with the complex history and politics that made up the life and times of Kissinger…His stentorian voice is perfect for this biography of an uncommonly strong personality. Using subtle shifts in pacing, Hillgartner draws the listener into the ever-increasing political tensions at home, particularly during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Listeners will be fascinated.”

    AudioFile

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About the Author

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain’s most renowned historians. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is the author of numerous books, including The Ascent of Money, a New York Times bestseller. His Kissinger, a feature-length film based on his interviews with Henry Kissinger, won the 2011 New York Film Festival prize for best documentary. His many other prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012), and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an accomplished actor, writer, and musician. Named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2013 and the recipient of several Earphones Awards, he has narrated over 175 audiobooks.