The Complicated Legacy of Henry Kissinger
Summary from the AllSides News Team
Voices across the spectrum are reflecting on the complicated legacy of Henry Kissinger, who died Wednesday at the age of 100.
“Charm, Brilliance, and Ruthlessness”: In The Daily Beast (Left bias), a reporter wrote about his personal experience with Kissinger, a man able to “disembowel anyone who dared heap legitimate reproach on the many callous foreign policy schemes he triggered.” Despite being “one of the funniest and most engaging individuals” the reporter ever met, Kissinger’s greatest failure was his “pitiless refusal to weigh the human consequences of using military force and underwriting dictatorial regimes to prop up American interests abroad.” The reporter concludes, “Kissinger was the professor with whom you disagreed on every moral ground imaginable, and then did whatever it took to become one of his students.”
“Master of Grand Strategy”: The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board (Lean Right bias) said Kissinger leaves a legacy of “accomplishment and strategic insight about global politics that few have matched.” Determining Kissinger was “often unfairly” criticized by voices across the spectrum for his actions and policy decisions during the Cold War, the board determines a key lesson taught by Kissinger was that “a great leader is someone who takes a nation where it needs to go even when its people don’t realize they need to get there.” Describing his journey in life, from fleeing the Nazis at the age of 15 to crafting American foreign policy, the board concludes, “America was lucky to have him, as he was to have America.”
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftHenry Kissinger’s Diplomatic Weapons Were Charm, Brilliance, and Ruthlessness
Henry Kissinger—revered and reviled—savored the hot soup of conflict.
Yet in his century of celebrated and criticized years of orchestrating foreign policy to contain Russia and what he avidly argued were America’s other belligerents, Kissinger’s first face-to-face with absolute power perhaps best illustrates his guarantee that “it’s not a matter of what is true that counts, but a matter of what is perceived to be true.”
“It’s true,” Kissinger laughed through his thick Bavarian accent, recalling his summer 1961 maiden appearance in the White House, where he’d traveled from Harvard...
From the CenterHenry Kissinger's Death Met With Celebrations, Tributes
The death of Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state and one of most divisive political figures in U.S. history, brought a mixture of tributes and contempt for his legacy from people around the world.
Kissinger, who was 100, died at his home in Connecticut, his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates Inc., confirmed. A public memorial service will be held in New York at a date yet to be announced.
The influential, but controversial, adviser was a key White House figure during the Richard Nixon administration, and played a pivotal role...
From the RightHenry A. Kissinger, 1923-2023
At a dinner recently with friends, Henry Kissinger was, at the invitation of his host as usual, holding forth on various world crises when he was asked what gave him reason for optimism. He replied that he had confidence in the wisdom of the American people, though at the current moment he worried about a dearth of U.S. leadership.
The comment reflected Kissinger’s abiding faith in America tempered with political realism and his belief in the essential role of leaders in guiding nations. The U.S. offered him refuge from Nazi...