WATCH: Was Young Henry Kissinger An Idealist?

A conversation between Niall Ferguson and Charlie Rose.
Presidential adviser Henry Kissinger at Harvard.
Presidential adviser Henry Kissinger at Harvard.

If you look closely at Henry Kissinger’s senior thesis at Harvard and his early writings when he was far from the realms of power, would you conclude that this famous “realist” statesman was an idealist? Yes, says Niall Ferguson, the author of a new biography of America’s top statesman entitled "Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist." 

In a recent conversation with Charlie Rose hosted by The WorldPost at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, Ferguson recalls Kissinger’s hopeful outlook and moral qualms as a young man facing the harsh realization that  “diplomacy -- statecraft -- is very often a choice between evils.” He also raises what Kissinger called “the problem of conjecture” involved in all strategic decisions in which there is no reward for averting disaster by pre-emptive action. Watch the full discussion below: