Yeah. He really wanted Elvis as Secretary of State. Click on link for funny story of their visit.
On a more serious note, “Richard Milhous Nixon inherited near-civil war conditions”. That quote has always stuck with me . There is a great book, “1968: The year that rocked the World” that, if you’re interested, really helps get a feel for the trauma of the time.
“Vietnam and beyond” is the title I gave to this unit years ago and it sticks rather well. Here we get in to Kissinger’s assessment of how Nixon was different, “complex”, and how he pulled the country away, or tried to, from its Wilsonian moorings. Once again I find Kissinger’s assessment of Wilson complicated. He seems to say here, that though Nixon did need, he believes, to start focusing on national interests, and allow the old “invisible-hand” to render stability, he appears to have a respect for what Wilson did in his time and how that ushered us through two world wide wars. I do think though that he feels it was Wislonianism possibly that took us in to the quagmire of Vietnam, yet Nixon, “shared the great American yearning for a foreign policy devoid of self-interest”.
For all the pundits out there on the conservative right that attacked Obama’s offer to “extend a hand if they (Iran, North Korea etc.) wil unclench their fist”, might want to remember that Nixon said much the same in 1969 about the need to talk with China and the Soviet Union, and how those talks helped lead to the final extrication from Vietnam. Nixon, Kissinger asserted, saw the USSR not as a zero-sum game, but rather as something more complicated. There is another game he brings into the discussion towards the end. How does that work?