Niall Ferguson: Henry Kissinger Reappraised

with Andrew Roberts

Monday 12 October 2015, 7pm | VIDEO ONLINE NOW

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No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. To the late Christopher Hitchens he was a war criminal who should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. To his admirers he is the greatest strategic thinker America has ever produced, the ‘indispensable man’, whose advice has been sought by every president from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.

Internationally renowned Harvard historian Niall Ferguson came to the Intelligence Squared stage to discuss his new appraisal of Kissinger. In his view, far from being the amoral arch-realist portrayed by his enemies, Kissinger owed a profound debt to philosophical idealism.

In this exclusive London appearance, Ferguson was joined by the distinguished historian Andrew Roberts, who brought his expertise from writing about great statesmen of the past – from Napoleon to Churchill – to the examination of this controversial figure. How did Kissinger’s worldview develop over the course of his early years, as a Jew in Hitler’s Germany, a poor immigrant factory worker in New York, a GI at the Battle of the Bulge, and in the aftermath of the war an interrogator of Nazis? How should we assess Kissinger’s record during his time as adviser to Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller and Richard Nixon, as he helped steer US policy during the Vietnam War, the rapprochement with China, and the Cold War?

Image: Dewald Aukema


Niall FergusonNiall Ferguson

One the UK’s best known historians who has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. His award-winning books include The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild and Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power. In 2011 his film company Chimerica Media released its first feature-length documentary, ‘Kissinger’, which won the New York International Film Festival’s prize for Best Documentary.


Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts

Distinguished British historian whose books include Napoleon and Wellington, an investigation into the relationship between the two great generals, and Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership, which coincided with Roberts’s four-part BBC2 history series. His latest publication, Napoleon the Great, won The Los Angeles Times Biography Prize 2015. He is presently writing a biography of Sir Winston Churchill.




Speakers are subject to change.