The first full-scale biography of the former secretary of state that examines not only his public life and policy but his origins and his activities since leaving office. While not an "authorized" biography, the author enjoyed some access to many of Kissinger's friends and colleagues (including this reviewer), as well as to Kissinger's family. This does not mean that the book is uncritical; on the whole the author strives for and achieves a balanced objectivity, though this reviewer would disagree with some of his judgments about policy. Written with an engaging flair, it suffers slightly from the journalist's tendency to write episodes. For a new generation of readers, for whom these years are fading into genuine history, it is "must" reading. It is likely to stand as the definitive biography, at least until more of the Kissinger, Nixon and Ford papers become available to scholars.