An astute analysis that illuminates many of today’s critical international issues.


Former Secretary of State Kissinger (On China, 2011, etc.) considers the prospect for order in a world without agreed-upon rules.

At a time when many nations differ on the meanings of democracy, human rights and international law, the 21st-century world is in a state of flux regarding the concepts of power and legitimacy—the foundation of world order. In fact, the world has never achieved world order, writes Kissinger. It came closest four centuries ago when warring European states, under the Peace of Westphalia, recognized state sovereignty and principles of international relations. Those rules and limits diminished greatly after World War II, when the United States dominated the Atlantic Alliance. They never reigned globally in a world of divergent cultures, histories and theories of order. In this erudite view of our disordered world, Kissinger views each region from a historical perspective to reveal the forces behind differing views of world order. In the Arab world, he finds that Islam is “a religion, a multicultural superstate, and a new world order,” where, in the case of Iran, for example, negotiation is seen as part of “an eternal religious struggle.” The “ominous” disintegration of Arab nations into tribal and sectarian units, writes the author, recalls the religious wars in pre-Westphalia Europe. Kissinger traces the rise of America’s idealistic vision of world order—one based on the universality of American principles—and credits the U.S. with many contributions to global order while noting that America “has risked extremes of overextension and disillusioned withdrawal.” The author also discusses the role of science and technology in shaping world affairs, urging that the instant information afforded by the Internet be viewed within the broader context of history. Regions must agree on their own concepts of order before they can relate to one another.

An astute analysis that illuminates many of today’s critical international issues.

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1594206146

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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