In January 1973, after four turbulent but productive years as Richard Nixon's National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger was thinking of leaving the post. Kissinger recounted in the first volume of his memoirs, White House Years (1979), his role in the impressive diplomatic achievements of Nixon's first term: the opening to China; the restoration of relations between Washington and Moscow to a more or less even keel; the beginning of the end of America's agony in Viet Nam. Now the "Grand Design " that he and Nixon had conceived to reshape international relations was beginning to materialize, and Kissinger contemplated retiring, perhaps...

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