“Everything on Paper Will Be Used Against Me: Quantifying Kissinger, 1968-1977”
Friday, November 22, 2013
Perhaps more than any other former Secretary of State or National Security Advisor, the public ‘celebrity’ of Henry Kissinger was (and remains) based upon an array of paradoxes both conscious and unconscious. As compelling as the foreign policy insights detailed in the prior section, these internal contradictions within Kissinger’s political and personal (and ostensibly, moral) psychology have been the subject of much of the recent historical study of ‘Kissingerology.’ Scholars who have applied a more traditional policy-centric interpretive model to these studies have faced significant difficulty in their efforts to understand what at first glance appear to be apparently incompatible motives and behavior, attempting with varying degrees of success to reconcile facets of a public figure who appears to embody a host of mutually exclusive dichotomies. Employing computational text analysis techniques (word collocation, topic modeling and word frequency analysis), I have attempted to quantify and illuminate some of the evidence for these dichotomies in Kissinger’s own official correspondence.