Betty Miller Unterberger, (Unterberger 1995)


Kissinger’s Diplomacy is a masterful, brilliant and provocative account of world politics and American foreign policy from Cardinal Richelieu to the end of the Cold War. Its title, however is somewhat deceptive, because it is more than just an analysis of the tactics and techniques practiced in the conduct of international diplomacy. Diplomacy is old-fashioned diplomatic history which concentrates on the grand strategy, leadership, and philosophy of the great power relationships. It contains almost no account of economic, demographic, social, cultural, or domestic factors. It is a book on Power politics, although Kissinger seldom uses that term. He prefers instead the term “geopolitics.” He does not, however, use it in the classic Mackinder sense as the influence of spatial environments on political imperatives. Rather, geopolitics becomes simply a euphemism for power relationships, or power politics, which is what he is really writing about.

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Unterberger, Betty Miller. 1995. “Power Politics and Statecraft: The World According to Kissinger.” Edited by Henry Kissinger. Reviews in American History 23 (4): 723–28.