Book Review: On China by Henry Kissinger

I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour pro­mo­tion.

My rating for On China – 4

“On China” by Dr. Henry Kissinger is a non-fiction book in which the famous statesman recounts and advises on the future of Chinese diplomacy with the west.

  • 608 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC
  • ISBN: 1594202710

Buy & Save on“On China” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK

One of the things which always fascinates me when it comes to political books is how decisions are made behind closed doors, the diplomacy, arm twisting and walking on tight wires which are the bane of foreign policy makes around the world. In his book “On China”, Dr. Kissinger explains some of this process which I find so fascinating.

The book, which draws extensively from Dr. Kissinger’s personal experience, starts with an introduction to ancient Chinese culture and foreign policy. Chinese culture has a lot of bearing on the Chinese diplomats’ way of thinking and statecraft. As Dr. Kissinger found out, that was the key to understanding and negotiating with the Chinese.

I enjoyed reading this book and getting, what seems to me, insightful and insider’s information. However, this is one tough book to read. Lots of information is thrown the reader’s way, many nuances and names are being recalled, all the while referencing thousands of years of Chinese history which culminates at the negotiations table.

February 21, 1972: US Pres. Richard Nixon (1913 – 1994) (2R) conferring with
Chinese Communist ldr. Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976) (C ) as PM Zhou Enlai (1898 – 1976) (L),
Natl. Security Adviser Henry Kissinger (R ) & interpreter look on during historic meeting.

Picutre from

Dr. Kissinger writes about the Chinese institutions and the thinking of Chinese diplomats when creating policy from earlier encounters with European powers, the rise of communism in the Soviet Union and to the breakdown of that alliance. Mr. Kissinger manages to tackle sensitive subject like the Korean War and the Tiananmen Square crackdown through elegant writing explaining US-Chino relations.  As an added bonus, Dr. Kissinger analyzes Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, two of the People’s Republic most engaging figures and compares their vision for China’s future.

The book follows the diplomacy trials, errors and success while breaking many myths which until now only privileged diplomats were aware of. A fascinating book which I felt privileged to read.

So tell me, have you ever felt that you were privileged to read a certain book?

Dr. Henry Kissinger writes at length about the country he has known for decades. Recounting Chinese history and culture, Kissinger examines how China sees itself and the outside world.

Dr. Kissinger examines key episodes in Chinese foreign policy, from hundreds of years ago to current events with emphasis on the rise of Mao Zedong.

Buy & Save on“On China” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK

TLC Book Tour for “On China”:

Wednesday, May 11th: Man of La Book
Thursday, May 12th: Mark’s China Blog
Monday, May 16th: Hidden Harmonies China Blog
Tuesday, May 17th: Inside-Out China
Wednesday, May 18th: Lisa Graas
Monday, May 23rd: Divided We Stand United We Fall
Tuesday, May 24th: Bookworm’s Dinner
Wednesday, May 25th: Pacific Rim Shots
Thursday, May 26th: Asia Unbound
Tuesday, May 31st: Wordsmithonia
Wednesday, June 1st: Lit and Life
Thursday, June 2nd: ChinaGeeks
Tuesday, June 7th: booker rising
Wednesday, June 8th: Power and Control
Thursday, June 9th: Marathon Pundit
Friday, June 10th: Rundpinne
Date TBD: Rhapsody In Books


Zohar – Man of la Book

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This post is in the 69th
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Published at Proud Book Nerd.

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