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Inner Circles

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To a degree virtually unmatched by any other American of his time, Alexander M. Haig, Jr. has participated in an astounding range of historical events. Among them: the Korean War, Vietnam, the Secret War against Castro's Cuba, Watergate, Nixon's establishment of diplomatic relations with China, the events surrounding the tragic death of John F. Kennedy, and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Now Alexander Haig, the man who served six U.S. presidents, presents a fiery, fascinating portrait of these events in the order that they occurred in his life, from his post as a young Army staff officer under MacArthur and combat in Korea to his rise inside the White House, to his stormy career as Richard Nixon's last Chief of Staff and his years as a Supreme Commander of NATO. In the process, Haig unravels mysteries and misperceptions of much of recent America and world political history and those who helped make it, from presidents to apparatchiks. Looking back at a career filled with controversy and honors, Haig draws provocative conclusions about American policy successes and failures. Looking ahead, he challenges the current crop of American politicians to improve our record in international affairs and makes specific recommendations by solving the most pressing issues at home, including urban decay and the budget deficit. In a dramatic, blow-by-blow account of Watergate Haig gives new and fascinating commentary on such key elements as the "Saturday Night Massacre", the Nixon tap, and "Deep Throat". In addition, he provides the most thorough, fascinating portrait yet of Nixon himself during that time - why the essentially reclusive President made the decisions he did, and how he wasboth served and sabotaged by those around him. Inner Circles gives unforgettable insights into the towering figures of Haig's career, including Lyndon Johnson, whose inferiority complex about the Kennedys led to a mismanagement of the Vietnam situation, Henry Kissinger, and such other dramatis personae as General MacArthur, Robert McNamara, George F. Kennan, Spiro Agnew, Leonid Brezhnev, Golda Meir, Le Duc Tho, and Anwar Sadat. Some of the many revelations Haig makes in this book are: evidence the government had in 1963 that Castro, who rightfully felt he was at war with the Kennedys, had been involved in the JFK assassination; a bizarre meeting between Kissinger and J. Edgar Hoover over the issue of leaks and wiretapping; the astounding indecision that gripped the Oval Office during the Gulf of Tonkin affair, and how Washington's failure to order the rescue of a downed U.S. flier would serve as a symbol of future U.S. strategy in Vietnam; and a remarkable conversation with Zhou Enlai in 1972, in which the Communist Chinese leader told Haig: "Do not lose in Vietnam". A memoir, a study of diplomacy, a story of history in the making, and a book of rare frankness about the way the United States government really works, Inner Circles shows world leaders as they are behind closed doors. Most of all, it helps Americans understand how honorable and sometimes less-than honorable men and women come together, clash, form alliances, and shape the policies that change our lives.

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