Shortly before 11 a.m. on Oct. 16, 1973, a Situation Room officer interrupted a meeting of the Washington Special Actions Group on the Middle East to deliver an Associated Press news bulletin. It announced that North Viet Nam's Le Due Tho and I had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for our efforts to end the Viet Nam War.

I had not even known that I was a candidate. I threw the dispatch on the table. My colleagues read it with astonishment rather than jubilation; they congratulated me but without real passion. For we all were ill at ease. I knew that...

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