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Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of World Order by Henry Kissinger, read by Nicholas Hormann.

World Order is the summation of Henry Kissinger's thinking about history, strategy and statecraft. As if taking a perspective from far above the globe, it examines the great tectonic plates of history and the motivations of nations, explaining the attitudes that states and empires have taken to the rest of the world from the formation of Europe to our own times.

Kissinger identifies four great 'world orders' in history - the European, Islamic, Chinese and American. Islamic states have looked to their destined expansion over regions populated by unbelievers, a position exemplified today by Iran under the ayatollahs. For over 2,000 years, the Chinese have seen 'all under heaven' as being tributary to the Chinese Emperor. America views itself as a 'city on a hill', a beacon to the world, whose values have universal validity.

How have these attitudes evolved, and how have they shaped the histories of their nations, their regions, and the rest of the world? What has happened when they have come into contact with each other? How have they balanced legitimacy and power at different times? What is the condition of each in our contemporary world, and how are they shaping relations between states now?

To answer these questions, Henry Kissinger draws upon a lifetime's historical study and unmatched experience as a world statesman. His account is shot through with observations about how historical change takes place, how some leaders shape their times and others fail to do so, and how far states can stray from the ideas which define them.

World Order is a masterpiece of narrative, analysis and portraits of great historical actors that only Henry Kissinger could have written.

©2016 Henry Kissinger (P)2016 Penguin Books Limited

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recommended

great reading... good voice ...great story, amazingly educative book. offcourse it presents everything from an idealistic point of view, but it gives one the opportunity to have a better understanding on how the world works and how the great military powers are playing it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Kissinger's views on world order.

I could not agree with eveything Kissinger said. It was still an interesting to listen to the idea of someone who shape US foreign policy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional history of the modern state system.

If you've ever wondered what defines a country and why do we feel nationalistic pride this book will guide you through the events in modern history which has led us to where we are today.

I found the last few chapters a bit too American centric, but as the book well descriptions the last century has mostly been defined by the American view of world order.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • julien
  • county wicklow, Ireland
  • 18-01-18

cringy

the title should be " the world order an american strategist wants you to believe in"

basically, everyones vision of a world order was to place themselves right at the center of it as some chosen people.

Except America, whose vision of a world order is made of universal values, moral and dedicated to the good of mankind.

America is a benevolent and selfless power that only intervenes in the world in order to create a world order that won't require its intervention.

after reading Perkins and Chomsky, it's hard to take Mr Kissingers claims seriously...



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating and thoughtful

A wonderful book that really makes you think. I particularly enjoyed the insights into current politics and foreign policy. He couldn’t be more on point.

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  • Frankie
  • Bosa, (OR), Italy
  • 04-09-17

Beauty & bias

This is a beautiful book that let me understand many things that I have always been curious about in regards to foreign policy. Unfortunately Kissinger's view is badly affected by the assumptions at the base of the US democracy that do not leave for any other alternative and this is disturbing to say the least.

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Incredibly insightful with equally incredible ethnocentric biases

Essential reading shows the responsibility of humanity to step up to the 3 existential challenges facing humanity
1. Nuclear proliferation
2. Environmental destruction
3. Cyber destruction

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Solid book to understand today's world

Kissinger has authored a solid work that centers around Westphalian principles to explain the foundations of today's world order, while contrasting those principles with the cultural and philosophical elements from other regions and countries outside the Western world.
It would have been a better book had he not engaged in active propaganda about the United States and raised it's principles above those of other nations. In that sense I believe he lacked objectivity, hence my 3 stars. I guess as former Secretary of State he would never criticize his own country.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-04-18

Clear, efficient and interesting

Would you listen to World Order again? Why?

Absolutely, there is a lot to learn & gain from this novel.

What did you like best about this story?

The history is very comprehensive, incredibly detailed and provided a good narrative for connecting ideas

Which scene was your favorite?

I particularly enjoyed the segment focusing on China

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

I learnt a lot about the beginnings of Arabic politics & systems, which I wasn't expecting

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  • Valente
  • 11-09-16

Amazingly staged actual escenarios

It gives you an idea about how the actual world is formed viewing its story in the different developed orders. And it helps you to understand how can the future be achieved to obtain equilibrium