The strongest case for Kissinger’s heroism is found in his Middle East diplomacy, chronicled in fascinating day-by-day detail by Indyk ... Chronicling many of the twists and turns in Kissinger’s breathtaking diplomacy, Martin Indyk is in awe of the man ... When Indyk analyzes the obstacles that Kissinger overcame, he knows of what he speaks ... draws on his experiences as well as extensive research in American and Israeli archives. Most of all, Indyk captures the unique intensity of diplomacy in this region, where every gesture is treated with suspicion, and every concession is a matter of life or death.
Martin Indyk has written a fascinating, comprehensive and detailed study of what may be Kissinger’s most decisive and important achievement ... What really sets this book apart from other academic studies is that Indyk is a very unusual historian. In carrying out the traditional archival research in the United States and Israel, mastering the memoir and secondary literature, and conducting interviews with surviving participants, Indyk provides a precise rendering and a literal day-to-day account of Kissinger’s diplomacy in the region ... Some critics have argued that Indyk’s book is overly generous ... This critique is unfair and shortsighted ... the survival and success of Israel should be seen as one of the genuine historic accomplishments of an enlightened American diplomacy, and as Indyk makes clear, Kissinger deserves a great deal of the credit.
... lucidly conceived and compellingly written ... much more than a tale of long-ago diplomatic tussles in a faraway place. The issues surrounding Mr. Kissinger’s approach to foreign policy remain current, and Mr. Indyk brings to the task of examining them his years of diplomatic experience in the Clinton and Obama administrations. His book deserves careful attention ... illustrates the struggle between the transformative ambitions of Democratic activists and their qualms about the use of American power that will likely shape the course of the Biden administration ... One hopes to see other aspects of this period receive equally careful treatment.
The study is enhanced by the author’s own Middle East credentials ... Few other books address Kissinger’s Middle East negotiations during these years ... Indyk’s reflective review of Kissinger’s Realpolitik negotiations can be a model for understanding how to subdue rather than settle international negotiations. Essential reading.
Drawing on his firsthand acquaintance with Middle East diplomacy and many of the principals, including Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein, Indyk paints a vivid portrait of Kissinger as visionary statesman, Machiavellian operator, and occasional bumbler as he cajoles, arm-twists, and haggles over demarcation lines and diplomatic phraseology. This fascinating study illuminates both the cold logic of Kissingerian statecraft and the human factors that muddled it.