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The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World
Barry Gewen, Editor, New York Times Book Review; Moderator: Talmage Boston

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Time Zone: America/Chicago
Local Time: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM


No one has thought more deeply about international affairs,” declares Henry Kissinger’s latest biographer, veteran New York Times Book Review editor Barry Gewen. His biography “The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World” traces the former Secretary of State’s history from his childhood as a refugee from Nazi Germany to his decades of applying the doctrine of “realpolitik” to America’s foreign policy. The New Yorker says the book “belongs to the neither-revile-him-nor-revere-him school of Kissingerology.”

Was Kissinger’s goal what his mentor Hans Morgenthau called “the less bad rather than the unqualified good” and was it in conflict with Americans’ expectations that foreign policy should be driven by national interest, morality and democratic principles? Gewen says, “Kissinger’s thinking runs so counter to what Americans believe or wish to believe.” The author will explore the evolution of Kissinger’s sober worldview in a conversation with Talmage Boston, who interviewed Henry Kissinger in 2013 at the World Affairs Council. 

Barry Gewen has been an editor at the New York Times Book Review for thirty years. He has written on politics, international affairs, and culture for several publications, including the Times, the New Republic, Dissent, and the National Interest.

Talmage Boston is a civil trial lawyer with the firm of Shackleford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton. Boston recently completed service on the World Affairs Council’s board of directors. A historian, his most recent publication is "Cross-Examining History: A Lawyer Gets Answers From the Experts About Our Presidents" (Bright Sky Press 2016).

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