Prospects Of American Foreign Policy
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Henry Kissinger is Associate Professor of Government at Harvard and Executive Director of the Harvard International Seminar. He was also, during 1956-57, director of the Special Studies Project for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. And he is the author of Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy. This formidable and serious book, addressed only to the politically knowledgeable, is an attempt to define the major issues of foreign policy that will confront America in the sixties. He deals with the overwhelmingly difficult problems of arms control, the possibility of the reunification of Germany, NATO, the conduct of diplomacy, the concept of limited warfare and the emergence of new nations. It would be impossible to describe here all the ramifications of Professor Kissinger's thinking on these complex issues for he by no means believes that simple virtue and persistence will eventually lead to easy solutions nor does he believe that policy-making can be approached from an attitude of abstraction. He does insist, however, that we have come to the end of the policies and of the men who dominated the post-war period and that the past 15 years can be characterized as a decline for the West. Broadly the direction of the discussion can be indicated: he does not think that the answer to our political problems can be found in reducing our defenses; the problem of NATO cannot be resolved on a national basis; a reunified, neutralized Germany is a feasible proposal; it's impossible to rely on personalities at the Summit; and schemes for arms control should not be considered substitutes for dealing with the political causes of the Cold War. After dealing with these specific policy dilemmas the author then discusses the process of political evolution -- in the Soviet Union and the newly emerging nations. And he concludes with an examination of the roles of the policymaker and the intellectual in a bureaucratic system. Unquestionably the book is an important one but it is probably not for general readership.
Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1960
ISBN: 0313243751
Page count: 370pp
Publisher: Harper
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1960


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