The Idealist Roots of Realpolitik

Henry Kissinger

In 1973, Walter Laqueur wrote in Commentary that the influence of Henry Kissinger’s writings had led to a situation where no article on foreign policy seemed complete “without a quotation or two about the Metternichian system or Bismarck’s Real-politik.” Yet Kissinger said in 2009, “I regularly get accused of conducting realpolitik. I don’t think I have ever used that term. It is a way by which critics want to label me.”