Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kissinger: National Geographic Documentary

Along with George Kennan, probably no other other American in the 20th century--excluding some presidents--has had such a profound (and controversial) influence on American foreign policy than Henry Kissinger. Love him or hate him (and he's been the subject of strong emotional reactions for a long time), this recent interview, which runs about an hour and a half, takes us into his world. Still quite sharp into his 80's, he reflects on his time as national security adviser and has Secretary of State. His interviewer, Niall Ferguson, who's undertaking an authorized biography of Kissinger, is barely heard in this interview, as the words come almost exclusively from Kissinger. Because of his incredible role in relations with the Soviet Union, China, the Middle East, and Viet Nam, his reflections on these events and situations is bound to hold interest.

On the other hand, the interview doesn't hold the pathos, sense of revelation, and soul-baring that Robert McNamara's interview in Errol Morris's film, The Fog of War, displayed. Perhaps it's the Irish-American McNamara's personality vs. that of the German-Jewish immigrant Kissinger's that accounts for the differences. In any event, if you're interested in recent history and American foreign policy, it's well worth the time to view this.

I found this to take a moment say again what I fine collection our public library (ICPL) holds. Another gem!

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