Nixon In China

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Nixon In China

by Margaret Macmillan

Penguin Group Canada | September 30, 2006 | Hardcover

Nixon In China is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.
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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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

– More About This Product –

Nixon In China

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 rep
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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.