Lot 82: Kissinger Letter to Former Political Adversary NY Senator Pat Moynihan
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
October 26, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Kissinger Letter to His Former Political Adversary, Senator Pat Moynihan: “It is invigorating to be in agreement with you on so many things these days!” ********** KISSINGER, HENRY A. (b. 1923). Nobel Prize-winning American secretary of state and national security advisor to presidents Nixon and Ford. TLS. (“Henry”). With a three-line holograph postscript. 1p. Small 4to. Washington, D.C., August 12, 1980. On his personal stationery. To Senator DANIEL PATRICK “PAT” MOYNIHAN (1927-2003). ********** “Thank you for your generous words in your note of August 4, 1980. I am honored, and I am sure that Hans Morgenthau would be too, that you inserted my remarks about him into the Congressional Record. Thank you also for sending me your eloquent tribute to Bill Baroody, another sentiment which I share. It is invigorating to be in agreement with you on so many things these days! Nancy sends her love… [In holograph] Thank you for your book and the inscription. I am reading it with great enjoyment.” ********** Despite being a Democrat, Moynihan was selected at the beginning of Republican Richard Nixon’s first presidential term to be his counselor on urban affairs. A former assistant secretary of labor under Kennedy and Johnson and director of the Harvard–MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies, Moynihan was chosen, in part, because of his academic background studying social policy. In 1973, Nixon appointed Moynihan to serve as the U.S. ambassador to India, the world’s largest democracy, with which American relations had become strained. ********** At the beginning of 1975, Moynihan was preparing to leave his diplomatic post when an article he penned for Commentary magazine caught the eye of Kissinger and impressed President Ford. This led to his appointment as ambassador to the United Nations, accountable to Secretary of State Kissinger. Like Moynihan, Kissinger was an academic with advanced degrees from Harvard. Among the prestigious academic posts he held before entering politics were directorships of the Harvard Defense Studies Program from 1958 to 1971 and the Harvard International Seminar for 20 years. However, “Moynihan’s ascendance… threatened Kissinger. Kissinger enjoyed his status as the Harvard wunderkind, dazzling bureaucrats and reporters; he did not want to share the spotlight with another articulate intellectual with a crimson glow,” (Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight against Zionism as Racism, Troy). Kissinger criticized Moynihan’s outspoken opposition to UN Resolution 3379 which declared Zionism a form of racism, and with his staff “mocked Moynihan’s Israel obsession. They wondered if he planned to convert,” (ibid.). Finally, a mere eight months after the appointment, Kissinger fired Moynihan, who was immediately elected to the Senate and, in that capacity, continued his opposition to the UN resolution which was finally repealed in 1991. ********** Our postscript probably refers to Moynihan’s Counting Our Blessings: Reflections on the Future of America, which was published in 1980. Kissinger was the recipient of the National Book Award in History in 1980 for his memoir The White House Years. Kissinger continues to be an active and influential foreign policy advisor. ********** Our letter mentions renowned international relations theorist Hans Morgenthau (1904-1980), author of Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace and defender of the concept of “just war.” From 1962 to 1978, William J. Baroody Sr. (1916-1980) served as president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, and advised Presidents Nixon and Ford as well as presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Both Morgenthau and Baroody died a few weeks prior to our letter. Our letter also mentions Kissinger’s wife, Nancy Sharon Kissinger (b. 1934). ********** With a docket number stamped vertically in the left margin and another on the verso is slightly visible on the recto. The return address of the original envelope has been affixed in the upper left corner which also bears a staple hole. Folded and in very good condition.