Nixon and Mao

Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World
Margaret MacMillan

The title? Mao does have a cameo, but was so ill he could only meet with Nixon for an hour. The subtitle? It’s become a cliché, but at least in MacMillan’s defence she can say it was a line the media used at the time. The supporting cast? I can’t imagine Kissinger being happy. He comes across as sycophantic, petty, and narrow-minded. The week? A coup de théâtre for Nixon, but not as big a watershed or historically meaningful as it was made out to be. The book? Does a nice job of turning the mostly pre-scripted and anti-climactic event into an interesting story. It seems more like something you’d want to read a decent magazine article about though.

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