Robert Dallek: New book says Kissinger kept Nixon in the dark on Yom Kippur War

Historians in the News

LOS ANGELES -- Newly released documents show that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger delayed telling President Richard Nixon about the start of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 to keep him from interfering, according to new book excerpted in Vanity Fair on Monday.

"Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power," is by presidential historian Robert Dallek, who spent four years reviewing the Nixon administration's recently opened archives, including 20,000 pages of Kissinger's telephone transcripts and hundreds of hours of Nixon tapes.

The historian says that when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on October 6, 1973, the Israelis informed Kissinger at 6 a.m., but 3 1/2 hours would pass before he spoke to Nixon.

Dallek, a biographer of Nixon predecessor Lyndon Johnson. also had access to nearly a million pages of national-security records and unpublished parts of the diaries of Nixon's first chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman.

Dallek says the documents reveal a complex relationship between two men who were both prone to paranoia, insecurity, manipulation, and ruthlessness. They also show Kissinger's increasing power derived from the deepening incapacity of the president due to the Watergate scandal.

Related Links

  • 'The Kissinger Presidency' (excerpt from Robert Dallek book)
  • Read entire article at Reuters

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