Kai Bird

Kai Bird
Kai Bird
  • Born: September 2, 1951
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Author









Kai Bird is an American author and columnist, best known for his biographies of political figures. He won a Pulitzer Prize for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

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Biography is the best history. History
A quarter-century after the end of the Vietnam War, and eleven years after the collapse of the Berlin wall, it has become commonplace to say that we Americans have no consensus on foreign policy. Across the political spectrum, left or right, most Americans still cling to whatever assumptions they held during our long journey through the Cold War. War & Peace
Although I went to college in the United States - Carleton in Northfield, Minnesota - I returned to the Middle East for a year in 1970-71 to study at the American University of Beirut.
Bhutan is a beautiful place. High-end tourists love it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
By any definition, what happened in Bhutan in the years 1989-93 was ethnic cleansing. The Bhutanese government denies this and has refused to repatriate any of those forcibly expelled. Government
I know the dangers and the seductions of the Middle East. It is part of my identity. I grew up among a people who routinely referred to the creation of the State of Israel as the Nakba - the catastrophe. And yet I fell in love with and married a Jewish American woman, the only daughter of two Holocaust survivors, both Jewish Austrians. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love the Middle East. My earliest childhood memories are of Jerusalem. I love the colors and smells and cadence of Arabic spoken in the streets of Cairo or Beirut. I also love the modernity and verve of Tel Aviv. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
In 1945, at the beginning of the Cold War, our leaders led us astray. We need to think of the Cold War as an aberration, a wrong turn. As such, we need to go back to where we were in 1945 - before we took the road to a permanent war economy, a national security state and a foreign policy based on unilateralism and cowboy triumphalism. War & Peace
It is one thing to be against unilateralism and against nonhumanitarian interventionism - but it is quite another thing to be against humanitarian interventionism.
Most Americans have no memory of the designs Franklin Roosevelt's New Dealers had for postwar-American foreign policy. Human rights, self-determination and an end to European colonization in the developing world, nuclear disarmament, international law, the World Court, the United Nations - these were all ideas of the progressive left.
My father was a Foreign Service officer, a diplomat and an Arabist who spent virtually all his career in the Near East, as it was called in the State Department. So I spent most of my childhood among the Israelis and the Arabs of Palestine, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
One can't live with a child of Holocaust survivors without absorbing some of the same sensibilities that her parents transmitted to her as a young girl. It is an unspoken dread, a sense of fragility, an anxious anticipation of unseen horrors.
The reality is that Israel is a multi-ethnic, multireligious society, and it makes no sense to insist as a precondition for peace that its neighbors recognize it as 'the Jewish state.' Society ;War & Peace

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