Sunday, December 10

Quick takes on leaders, the dangers of today

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sat down with USA TODAY’s Susan Page to talk about his new book profiling six “transcendent” world leaders and the lessons their experiences hold for policymakers today.

“Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy,” being published July 5 by Penguin Press, profiles leaders who helped reshape the world in the volatile period after World War II. They include Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, Charles de Gaulle of France, Richard Nixon of the US, Anwar Sadat of Egypt, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, and Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain.

During his tenure as Nixon’s national security adviser and then his secretary of state, Kissinger had dealings with all of them.

Here are some quick takes from the interview.

On today’s tumult compared with the late 1960s:

“In a way, it’s a little bit worse than it was then. Because then, our critics were part of the same system… . What is happening now is – the debate is about the worthiness of America, whether America and what kind of America is worth it to conduct policy. That makes dialogue even harder than it was then in terms of our internal debate.”

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