The first biography of the influential national security adviser and strategic thinker whose ideas have helped shape American foreign policy for five decades
Drawing on exclusive access to Zbigniew Brzezinski’s private archives and diaries as well as original interviews with his colleagues and rivals, Patrick Vaughan shows how this Polish-born professor willed himself and his ideas to the center of U.S. foreign policy, setting America on the course that would eventually triumph in the Cold War.
At the center of the narrative are two pivotal relationships: Brzezinski’s lifelong rivalry with Henry Kissinger, another émigré strategist who was the first to ascend the heights of power; and his unlikely political partnership with Jimmy Carter, who brought Brzezinski to the White House. Vaughan also reveals the surprising behind-the-scenes influence that Brzezinski has wielded after leaving office, as well as his ongoing success in shaping public opinion.
Zbigniew Brzezinski’s legacy is palpable in Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Middle East, and he remains a leading player on the world stage. Vaughan’s definitive biography reveals the extraordinary story of how one remarkable thinker changed the world.
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Patrick Vaughan is a professor at Jagiellonian University in Poland, where he teaches American history and the Cold War. Born in Seattle and raised in California, he holds a Ph.D. in history from West Virginia University. He has won numerous awards for his foreign policy research, including the Fulbright Scholarship, the John L. Snell Memorial Prize, and the Kazimierz Dziewanowski Award. He lives in Krakow, Poland.