Nixon In China

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Nixon In China

by Margaret Macmillan

Penguin Group Canada | September 30, 2006 | Hardcover

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MACMILLAN/NIXON IN CHINA

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9.25 × 6.5 × 1.25 in

Published: September 30, 2006

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670044768

ISBN - 13: 9780670044764

Found in: History

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– More About This Product –

Nixon In China

by Margaret Macmillan

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9.25 × 6.5 × 1.25 in

Published: September 30, 2006

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670044768

ISBN - 13: 9780670044764

Read from the Book

1 Setting Out ON THURSDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 1972, President and Mrs Nixon came on to the south lawn of the White House where a helicopter waited for them. A small crowd, among them Vice-President Spiro Agnew and his wife, Republican and Democratic Congressmen and the two Nixon daughters, Tricia and Julie, saw them off as they started the first leg of their long trip to China. The brief ceremony was carried live on American radio and television. Nixon spoke briefly. He was making, he said, 'a journey for peace', but, he added, he was under no illusions that '20 years of hostility between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America are going to be swept away by one week of talks that we will have there'. Nevertheless, he was going in an optimistic spirit: 'if there is a postscript that I hope might be written with regard to this trip, it would be the words on the plaque which was left on the moon by our first astronauts when they landed there: "We came in peace for all mankind."'1 It was classic Nixon, that mixture of pragmatism and grandiloquence. Inside the waiting plane at Andrews Air Force Base, the rest of Nixon's party, which included his Secretary of State, William Rogers, and his National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, watched the ceremonies on television. Winston Lord, a young aide to Kissinger, joked nervously that if the plane blew up they would all see themselves going sky high. As Nixon was boarding the plane, one of the waiting reporters handed
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From the Publisher

MACMILLAN/NIXON IN CHINA

From the Jacket

A fateful meeting between two wary leaders

In 1972, Richard Nixon became the first American President to go to China. The visit, planned in secret, amazed the world and marked the end of the deep freeze in Sino–American relations that started with the Communist takeover in 1949. It was an immense gamble but a brilliant stroke of policy, changing the international balance of power. With China onside, Nixon might withdraw U.S. forces from Vietnam; American know-how could help Mao recover from his disastrous Cultural Revolution; most of all, each now had a card to play against the Soviet Union in the Cold War struggle. In the longer term, though, was Nixon the supplicant to the Middle Kingdom? Has the United States been at a disadvantage ever since? Will the twenty-first century see co-operation between the two countries, or will China challenge American dominance?

This is fascinating history enacted by extraordinary players: Nixon, Red-baiter, shrewd statesman and disgraced politician; Mao, frail, erratic, ruthless; the twin Machiavellis Kissinger and Chou En-lai; brittle, unhappy Pat Nixon; and Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, the small-time Shanghai actress who became the scourge of Chinese civilization. The two countries saw themselves as model societies but couldn’t have been more different: Communist China, contemptuous but fearful of the outside world; the United States of America, a rich, powerful but troubled democracy. The gap between them was huge and still exists today.

Drawing on newly available material from the United States and China, as well as from interviews with all major survivors, MacMillan re-examines that fateful week. Timely, authoritative and written with great narrative verve, Nixon in China is a landmark work of history.

About the Author

Margaret MacMillan is the author of Women of the Raj and the bestselling Paris 1919, which won the 2003 Governor General’s Award and several prestigious international prizes. She is the provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto. In 2007, she will become the warden of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University.

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