An intimate conversation with Leonid Brezhnev halfway up a tree in an exclusive forested hunting preserve to the northeast of Moscow. The unusually candid talk with the Soviet ruler, writes Henry Kissinger, offered a "single, brief glimpse of humanity that was not repeated while I was in office."

Meetings in a book-choked study in Peking with Mao Tse-tung, the aging leader of one-quarter of all mankind. "I don't look bad," Mao told Kissinger just three years before his death, "but God has sent me an invitation." Much remained to be done, Mao was implying, and little time in which to do...

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