Few have ever enjoyed the degree of foreign-policy influence and versatility that Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. did--in the postwar era, perhaps only George Marshall, Henry Kissinger, and James Baker. Lodge, however, had the distinction of wielding that influence under presidents of both parties. For three decades, he was at the center of American foreign policy, serving as advisor to five presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to Gerald Ford, and as ambassador to the United Nations, Vietnam, West Germany, and the Vatican. In this book, historian Luke A. Nichter gives us a compelling narrative of Lodge's extraordinary and consequential life.
Nichter’s biography goes a long way to correcting Lodge’s omission, filling in the blanks on the life of this fascinating man who played a central role in U.S. foreign policy for more than three decades.
In The Last Brahmin Mr. Nichter, a professor of history at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, presents Lodge as a man who believed he owed much to the nation, and so believed the nation should use him as it saw fit ... What Mr. Nichter does not quite explain is what led Lodge to continue this shift after the war ... While Mr. Nichter chronicles Lodge’s active role in the era, the reader still is left to wonder about the man’s ultimate motivations, and what he made of it all. 'Never tell them how you did it,' indeed.
[Nichter] is careful to ballast his book with colorful anecdotes; The Last Brahmin is unexpectedly entertaining reading throughout ... Fortunately, the bulk of The Last Brahmin displays a reassuring willingness to examine the multiplicity that was always part of Lodge’s public character, and the portraits of all the other major players - particularly Nixon - ring true.