Nixon In China: The Week That Changed The World

Paperback | August 14, 2007

byMargaret Macmillan

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In February 1972, Richard Nixon became the first American president to visit China. His historic one-hour meeting with Mao Zedong ended the breach between the United States and China, which had lasted since the Communist victory in 1949. Just as significantly, the visit changed the face of international relations from a bipolar Cold War to a three-sided struggle involving the Soviet Union, China, and the United States.

Drawing on newly available material and interviews with all major survivors, MacMillan re-examines that fateful week. Authoritative and written with great narrative verve, Nixon in China is a landmark work of history.

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From the Publisher

In February 1972, Richard Nixon became the first American president to visit China. His historic one-hour meeting with Mao Zedong ended the breach between the United States and China, which had lasted since the Communist victory in 1949. Just as significantly, the visit changed the face of international relations from a bipolar Cold Wa...

MARGARET MacMILLAN is the renowned author of Women of the Raj, Stephen Leacock (Extraordinary Canadians series), and the international bestsellers Nixon in China and Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, which won the 2003 Governor General’s Award and the 2002 Samuel Johnson Prize. She is also the author of The Uses and Abu...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 0.88 inPublished:August 14, 2007Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143015591

ISBN - 13:9780143015598

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Rebirth of a Civilization Really, when you think about China today in 2008 (as the Beijing Olympics gets underway) and China pre-1972, it is really an unparalleled transformation. Looking back in history, the meeting between Nixon and Mao will be seen as a defining moment in the civilization of China and indeed Asia. Esteemed Historian, Margaret Macmillan delivers both a historically significant interpretation of this momentous event but also a well-written easy to follow narrative that explores the essence of the major characters. Much as I liked "Paris 1919", I felt Macmillan's own personal relations interfered with the distance required to produce the necessary nuance in contextualizing the Paris Peace Conferences. In "Nixon in China", Macmillan is much more the professional Historian exploring and interpreting the mountains of new sources and interview information available to piece together this complex puzzle. There is much new information about the relationships between Nixon and Kissinger, Mao and Zhou, Mao and his wife, etc... I realize the text is lengthy at over 400 pages, but I don't think you could really pear it down any further without leaving out historically relevant details. Macmillan, quite correctly keeps the reader focused on the time period and refrains from appearing anachronistic which is quite the accomplishment considering all that has happened since 1972. What brought about this rapprochement was the shared animosity towards Soviet USSR. Nixon and Kissinger, ever the realists, felt it prudent to establish relations with Communist China as a way to get under Brezhnev's skin, and that it did. For Mao, after the calamities of the Cultural Revolution and Sino-Soviet split, he searched for anything that would strengthen his grip on power. It was the unintended consequences following this rapprochement that opened up Mao (and more importantly others within the Politburo especially Deng Xiaoping) to the possibilities of reforms. An excellent read as both a historical text and for the average reader. "Nixon in China" is where it all began and where anyone wanting to learn more about the "economic miracle" of the "Chinese Century" should start.
Date published: 2008-08-08