Kissinger: 1973, the Crucial Year

June 17, 2009 // 4:00pm5:00pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
History and Public Policy Program

Alistair Horne, author of Kissinger: 1973, the Crucial Year will discuss the lasting impact of Kissinger's role in U.S. foreign policy-making, especially in the light of the pivotal events of 1973. Based on full access to the subject and his papers, Kissinger is an intimate portrait of a man, a country, and a presidency at a critical juncture.

By any measure, 1973 was not an ordinary year. After furthering his policy of realpolitik through backchannel diplomacy during Nixon's first term, Kissinger was finally awarded the plum position of secretary of state. But then major events shattered whatever peace and calm America had attained in the early part of the decade: first came defeat in Vietnam; then Watergate, culminating in the president's resignation; war in the Middle East; and finally an economic collapse caused by the Arab oil embargo. All of these momentous blows to the country's security occurred on Henry Kissinger's watch. Rather than progressing on all fronts, as he had expected, Kissinger would confront some of the most critical policy challenges of his career.

Alistair Horne is a former Wilson Center fellow and public policy scholar. He is the author of a number of books, including A Savage War of Peace, The Price of Glory, and the official biography of Harold Macmillan. His extensive writing in the field of French history has earned him several awards and honors. He was awarded the French Légion d'Honneur in 1993, and was knighted in 2003. Among his publications are The French Revolution, The Age of Napoleon, La Belle France, Seven Ages of Paris, How Far from Austerlitz? Napoleon 1805-1815, and The Lonely Leader: Monty 1944-45 (with David Montgomery). His most recent work, Kissinger: 1973, The Crucial Year, is the first biography authorized by Dr. Kissinger, and has already won critical acclaim for its dispassionate account of the statesman's life and political career. Horne was educated at Millbrook School, NY, and holds a doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge, England.

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Associate
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project