Skip to comments.HENRY A. KISSINGER: Otto von Bismarck, Master Statesman
Posted on 04/04/2011 9:52:45 PM PDT by neverdem
By Jonathan Steinberg
Illustrated. 577 pp. Oxford University Press. $34.95
In the summer of 1862, Otto von Bismarck was appointed minister-president of Prussia. His highest previous rank had been ambassador to Russia. He had never held an administrative position. Yet with a few brusque strokes, the novice minister solved the riddle that had stymied European diplomacy for two generations: how to unify Germany and reorganize Central Europe. He had to overcome the obstacle that Germany comprised 39 sovereign states grouped in the so-called German Confederation. All the while, Central European trends were warily observed by the two flanking powers, France and Russia, ever uneasy about and tempted to prevent the emergence of a state capable of altering the existing European balance of power.
Within nine years, Bismarck untied this knot in what Jonathan Steinberg, a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, describes as the greatest diplomatic and political achievement by any leader in the last two centuries. He overcame the princes of the German states in two wars and rallied them in a third; won over public opinion by granting universal manhood suffrage making Prussia one of the first states in Europe to do so; paralyzed France by holding out the prospect of agreeing to the French acquisition of Luxembourg, and Russia by a benevolent attitude during the Polish revolution of 1863. Bismarck accomplished all this without commanding a single soldier, without dominating a vast parliamentary majority, without the support of a mass movement, without any previous experience in government and in the face of...
And he responded to the suggestion of a pre-emptive war against Russia with: Woe to the statesman whose arguments for entering a war are not as convincing at its end as they were at the beginning.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
While dressed in a blue and red leotard!
Bismarck was the architect of the modern state.
He, more than almost anyone other than perhaps Marx, designed the downfall of human liberty.
I simply cannot believe this desiccated, dried up old fart can still write.
I remember over 4o years ago reading "A World Restored" for a high school essay I wrote on the Congress of Vienna. He's still got the juice.
“He, more than almost anyone other than perhaps Marx, designed the downfall of human liberty.”
Quite true. The progressives yammering for single-payer health care in essence are pleading for the U.S. to adopt a model for health care financing and delivery first put into place more than a century ago by Bismarck. Talk about “back to the future!” This is no longer a progressive idea, but a profoundly retarded one.
Sorry. I am a bit color blind. I guess it was more of a black and white leotard... My mistake! Enschuld!
Kissinger's “Diplomacy” (1994) covers two centuries in about 800 pages. But it offered an objective, strategic explanation of the Vietnam War that I could finally grasp. Kissinger wrote that Kennedy's failure to force North Vietnamese military installations (40,000 personnel) out of the Laotian panhandle in 1962 doomed any further U.S. efforts to secure South Vietnam. These bases fed troops replacements and war supplies down the various infiltration routes (Ho Chi Minh Trail) through Laos and Cambodia then into South Vietnam. Without this advantage the NVA would have been forced to move across the DMZ—a route that could have been more easily interdicted by the Free World forces. Former President Dwight Eisenhower spoke out publicly during the 1960’s about the necessity of suppressing these over-the-border sanctuaries but he was ignored by LBJ.
I never thought anybody could have done more damage to this country than LBJ, until Obama.
In many ways, figuratively, LBJ is Obama’s Daddy.
That's exactly my sentiment. Carter is the usual analogy, but as far as damage done, LBJ wins hands down with his Vietnam policies and Great Society programs. He doubled down in Vietnam so he could get GOP support for his Great Society programs, but he had no strategy to win. He thought he could get the commies to parlay into a peace deal a la the armistice in Korea as if Vietnam was a peninsula!.
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Who? Steinberg or Kissinger?
LOL...I guess I had to be talking about Kissinger, if Steinberg, is working for the NYT, he could NEVER have written! (I’m only half kidding, I don’t read Steinberg’s work, so I don’t know if he is good or not)
I always found it humorous, the “ladies man” side of Kissinger. I just use “dessicated old fart” all the time to describe Hugh Hefner and Mick Jagger, and for some reason, the association popped into my brain.
But It IS unfair to Kissinger, whatever else he was, he did (does) have a brain.
hah...just stepped on myself. Wasn’t even paying attention...it was KISSINGER who wrote the article. That is what being flippant gets me.
Thanks for the clarification.
Have you read Rumsfeld’s recent book? He has interesting things to say about Kissinger, and not all of them are flattering.
I bought Rumsfeld’s book and was a few chapters into it, when he came out and advocated for open homosexuality in the military.
There have been few political things in my life that have caused a greater degree of disappointment and disillusionment.
I simply cannot pick up the book again. Perhaps when I have cooled down, but I just don’t know.
As for Kissinger, he is no dummy, but I have never liked him. Say what you will about Rumsfeld, he always seemed like he was straightforward and would tell you exactly where he stood (or at least I thought)
Kissinger seemed too much like a squishy European diplomat who would say one thing to you while thinking and acting otherwise. I guess I will have to read the rest of Rumsfeld’s book to see what he thinks.