The vision thing

Henry Kissinger explains what he thinks makes great leadership

His study of six leaders from the 20th century is partial but enlightening

Leadership. By Henry Kissinger. Penguin Press; 528 pages; $36. Allen Lane; £25

Whatever you think of Henry Kissinger, the 99-year-old former national security adviser and secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations has an elephantine memory and experience that makes it an important historical resource. In his latest book, Mr Kissinger, an unofficial adviser and friend to many presidents and prime ministers, considers how six leaders from the second half of the 20th century reoriented their countries and made a lasting impact on the world.

Mr Kissinger’s six are an eclectic bunch. Konrad Adenauer was the first post-war chancellor of West Germany. Charles de Gaulle saved France twice, first during the second world…