The New York Times

Learning From Henry Kissinger


“Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons From Dealmaking at the Highest Level”

By James K. Sebenius, R. Nicholas Burns and Robert H. Mnookin

411 pages. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $28.99.

Although American foreign policy often sounds absolutist — “you are with us or against us” — the successful practice of diplomacy requires compromise. No nation is powerful enough to get whatever it wants unilaterally, and the complexities of international affairs make it impossible to control the course of events.

The great American statesmen in our history — Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt, among others — were all negotiators. They spent much of their time meeting with allies and adversaries to hammer out agreements that reconciled

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