Kalb, Marvin and Bernard. (1974). Kissinger. Boston: Little, Brown.
Remarkably for a successful politician, Richard Nixon was never personally popular. He was admired rather than loved by his supporters, but he was passionately hated by his opponents. These emotions go back to his earliest political campaigns, after World War Two, when Nixon was a pioneering figure in the modern Republican Right. "From Nixon's early campaigns, he developed the reputation as a hard-hitting, slashing campaigner. His attack style and 'go for the jugular' approach became a Nixon trademark (Genovese, 1990, p. 2).
We must attribute much of that success to Kissinger. He makes a striking contrast to Nixon's other most influential appointments. On the domestic front, the men who had the greatest influence upon Nixon; Haldeman, Erlichmann, John Mitchell, tended to reinforce his most paranoid traits, and by and large they ended up as convicted felons. Kissinger, on the other hand, not only avoided embroilment in scandal, but more fundamentally served to reinforce Nixon's potential strengths rather than his weaknesses. Had Nixon's leading foreign policy advisor shared the traits of his chief domestic advisors, his foreign record might have been as disastrous as his domestic record--and, perhaps, immeasurably more so.
He did not see combat, but was assigned from the first to quasi-political and quasi-diplomatic duties. While serving in U.S. Occupation forces in Germany after the war, he showed his skills when assigned to identify former Gestapo members. He accomplished this by a simple but subtle measure: he ran an employment ad in a German newspaper seeking men with police experience. Dozens of ex-Gestapo men duly turned up for interviews (Kalb and Kalb, 1974, p. 41).
Kissinger, by nature diplomatic, never fully accustomed himself to the slashing Nixonian style. "There are times when one catches a glimpse of pained self-control as Kissinger listens to a presidential