When Oddballs Ruled the World

They're like twin antediluvian monstrosities: too ugly, too wonky, too scaly and strange to flourish in today's cold political climate when the blinding comet of television has wiped out their kind, leaving only furry grinning mammals behind. Richard Nixon barely knew Henry Kissinger when he appointed him, notes Robert Dallek in Nixon and Kissinger, but they turned out to be two of a kind: both the products of unhappy childhoods, both paranoid, combative, grandiose, deceptive, relentlessly driven men. They shared power on an unprecedented basis, and it's both hypnotic and terrifying to watch this unsteady Siamese-twin act toddling around...

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