Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow: Confidential Diplomacy and Détente
While people might have had issues with President Nixon’s secretive, and often illegal, ways of doing things, one of the things he was good at was improving America’s relations with other countries, whether that was the opening of China or détente with the USSR. In this new book by Richard Moss, we get a look at how President Nixon and Henry Kissinger were able to communicate with Moscow without using official State Department channels and work toward détente. From the beginning of this presidency, Nixon preferred back-channel diplomacy rather than going through ambassadors and the Foreign Service. They were able to form personal relationships and install direct lines of communication that often cut out official channels that they felt would hinder them.
This could have been much better if it was shorter by about forty pages. It slows down in many spots, and the author’s need to communicate every little detail of every time Kissinger and his USSR counterpart met feels like a slog at times. There are times we need to know when Nixon and Kissinger would tag-team the USSR man, but we do not need to know about it each time they communicated. This could have been much better.
University Press of Kentucky
Richard A. Moss • James Stavridis, Foreword