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On China. Henry Kissinger (2012)

by Henry Kissinger(Favorite Author)
4.02 of 5 Votes: 4
0141049421 (ISBN13: 9780141049427)
Penguin Books
review 1: Although I don’t completely agree with the author, I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book about a country where I came from.I was immensely impressed by the first-hand materials Kissinger possessed in writing this powerful book. Kissinger chooses wisely the starting point where to begin his account. People, even among the Chinese pay little attention to the literal meaning of the Chinese name of the country. Explaining the meaning of the two Chinese characters helps understand the people’s traditional belief and philosophy in dealing with other nations.Kissinger cleverly picked some of the well know Chinese fables, historical events, and Chinese games to tell what he wanted to convey. The analysis of the impact of the Opium War in 1840, the Chinese classic the Romanc... moree of the Three Kingdoms, and the board games Wei-chi was accurate and reliable. I enjoyed his account of Zhuge Liang’s (181–234) Empty Fort strategy and using it to interpret Mao’s handling of the superpowers. Kissinger and his associates did a marvelous job in putting the Chinese classic writings in English. This is especial true with the subtleties of the language."The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been."
review 2: Actually three-and-a-half stars really, because some parts were a bit boring.The first part of the book gives a general overview on Chinese history from the ancient dynasties up to the establishment of the PRC in 1949 and the Mao years.The more interesting part of the book is when Kissinger himself appears, especially in the re-established contact between China and US 1971 (when Mao was actually still alive!). This book gave me a lot of insights on the 70s, 80s and 90s, and especially how Sino-US relations have been shaped. Now I've a better understanding of the so-called "rivalry" between them, which some people perceive to exist, but also of the need for these two countries to have effective communication and understanding. less
Reviews (see all)
Is simply one of the best historical analysis of China. Historically accurate.
Surprisingly readable and worthwhile summary by a guy who knows a lot.
Good history of US-China relations for the past several decades.
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