When Nikita Khrushchev shouted contempt for the United States in his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Vice President Richard Nixon, Americans gasped at the sudden glimpse of the Soviet leader's character. At the time cameras and reporters were present. But how much more would we have learned if we could have traveled the globe with Richard Nixon and met privately with others who have shaped the modern world?
Richard Nixon knew virtually every major foreign leader since World War II—some at the pinnacle of power, some during their “years in the wilderness” out of power, and still others toward the end of their lives. His was an unparalleled opportunity to gain insight into the nature of the powerful and qualities of leadership.
In Leaders, Nixon shares these insights and experiences. He illustrates these leaders in private, assesses their careers, recalls words of wisdom, and brings to bear his own judgments. We meet the co-architects of the New Japan, Douglas MacArthur and Shigeru Yoshida. Encountering the legendary leaders of China—Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Chiang Kai-shek—we see the men behind the events. We see the intensely private Charles DeGaulle; explore the philosophies of Konraud Adenauer; confront Leonid Brezhnev; and delight in the company of Winston Churchill—not to mention Nixon’s analyses of interactions with dozens of other leaders.
No one but Richard Nixon could have written this book. It is at once as personal as a handclasp and as objective as only so earnest a student of history could have made it.