Gewen seeks to escape this cartoon depiction of Kissinger, absurd in its Manichaean extremes. He does so successfully with sympathy for his subject, subtlety, good writing and not a little humour. His book examines three sets of complexities better to understand the man, the thinker and the diplomat — complexities all of which are intertwined. This is not a book for those who like their characters cut and dried, black and white. It is a portrait painted in multiple shades of grey.