Henry Alfred Kissinger
Henry Kissinger was a leader in American foreign policy, urging the country toward compromise and moderation, and helping to ease tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. Born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1923, Mr. Kissinger, along with his family, fled to the United States in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution, and became a U.S. citizen five years later. After serving in World War II, he studied foreign policy at Harvard University, where he received a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., and soon became a professor. During his 17 years on the Harvard Faculty, he served on numerous government advisory committees and authored several books on foreign affairs in the nuclear age. By the time he gave up academia to become Secretary of State, he was one of the nation's most distinguished scholars. In his four years in this position, Mr. Kissinger pioneered the policy of détente, or relaxation, to relieve the conflict with the Communist powers. This moderate and grounded strategy brought criticism from both sides of the aisle, but produced some dramatic results. Along with North Vietnamese foreign minister Lê Ðức Thọ, Mr. Kissinger engineered the Vietnam peace accord, for which they received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize. He also negotiated the opening of China to the West, pushed through the SALT I treaty to reduce nuclear armaments, and resolved dozens of other critical foreign policy questions. Since stepping down in 1977, he has continued to serve worldwide governments in many forms, and has campaigned for reasonable diplomacy across the globe.
"No foreign policy - no matter how ingenious - has any chance of success if it is born in the minds of a few and carried in the hearts of none."
"We live today in a world so complex that even only to endure, man must prevail - over an accelerating technology that threatens to escape his control and over the habits of conflict that have obscured his peaceful nature."
"If peace, the ideal, is to be our common destiny, then peace, the experience, must be our common practice. For this to be so, the leaders of all nations must remember that their political decisions of war or peace are realised in the human suffering or well-being of their people. Peace cannot be achieved by one man or one nation. It results from the efforts of men of broad vision and goodwill throughout the world. The accomplishments of individuals need not be remembered, for if lasting peace is to come it will be the accomplishment of all mankind."
"Accept everything about yourself - I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end - no apologies, no regrets."
"If you don't know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere."
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