by Larry Peery

The Story of Henry Alfred Kissinger and Allan Brian Calhamer at Harvard University: 1947- 1954, And What Happened Afterwards


I will refer to them as HAK and ABC hereafter. Doing so will save me at least a page of space.

You will see a few pictures as part of this article and a lot of links in various parts of the story that take you to web sites with more information and pictures about that particular topic. If you’re not interested in the subject there’s no need to look at the links, but if you don’t you’ll be missing a lot.

I included the Wikipedia short bios of the various Harvard and East Hamptons Dippers to give you an idea of the kinds of people who were playing Dip FTF in the 1950s and 1960s at Harvard and in the East Hamptons on Long Island. This was the Dip hobby that most of us knew nothing about. There are many videos on YouTube of HAK and many of various Diplomacy players as well. Some of them are quite informative or entertaining. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any of ABC speaking. I hope some of the player’s in the last Chicago Dip event; which was also Allan’s last public appearance; will post their cell phone videos on line. You have to see and hear HAK and ABC live to appreciate how much alike they were in one area — neither one of them was worth beans as a public speaker.

We all know that HAK and ABC both went to Harvard University and we all known that Diplomacy is rumored to be HAK’s favorite game; and therein lies my tale. Well, if you didn’t know before, by the time you finish reading my story you’ll know a lot about an unexplored aspect of dip&Dip., the years HAK and ABC spent at Harvard. A brief Intermission gives me a chance to share a story hitherto unpublished about all of our principals. Then, in Part II, I’ll share with you some information that I learned recently about both men. And in Part III I’ll talk about things at Harvard today as they relate to these two titans of dip&Dip.

To refresh your memory on their biographies you may want to review the HAK and ABC entries in Wikipedia. In fact, I suggest you keep them hidden, along with a Google/Bing map application in the background on your computer for referral. We’re going to be covering a lot of history and a lot of territory in this story. You might find it useful to keep a map of the Harvard campus on hand as well.

This is a story of fact, so you’ll find lots of facts, conclusions, opinions, speculations, and theories, but what you won’t find is any fiction. It would have been tempting in places to include some fiction but since this article is a work intended for historical reference I decided to forgo the fiction.


2 Men: HAK and ABC. HAK was born into a Jewish family in Furth, Germany in 1923. ABC was born into a comfortable family in suburban Chicago, Illinois in 1931.

From reading the links, looking at the photos and watching the videos of HAK and ABC you will immediately learn three things if you didn’t already know them: 1) Both men inspired tremendous intellectual and emotional responses, many negative for HAK and almost entirely positive for ABC; 2) Neither was particularly photographic; and 3) Neither of them was a good public speaker.

2 Women: HAK was married to his first wife, Ann Fleischer Kissinger, for nearly fifteen years (1950 – 1964). Another story that may or may be not true is that Ann Kissinger worked to support HAK while he was writing his thesis and even typed it for him and did the same for his first book, as well as giving him two kids, but then he decided she wasn’t the wife a budding presidential advisor should have. Nancy was just what HAK needed. She was a former student, had connections to the Rockefellers that he was courting, had family money, and, perhaps most important, was socially graceful and accepted by the right people. HAK has been married to his second wife, Nancy Maginnes since 1974. ABC was married to only one woman, Hilda, a former Oscar de la Renta fashion model, who survives him. (As I write this I’ve just read that Oscar de la Renta passed away a few days ago at age 81.)

2 Families: HAK had two children by his first wife, a daughter named Elizabeth born in Boston in 1959 and a son, David, born in Boston in 1961. Yes, it’s a fact and matter of record that HAK abandoned the wife who had supported him through school and their 3 year old son when the boy was three. ABC left two daughters, now grown, Selenne and Titania.

2 Lifestyles: It’s hard to compare the difference between the lifestyles of HAK and ABC. While many of us might dream of living in the HAK style I suspect most of us would be much more happy living like ABC did. Perhaps that’s the ultimate compliment I can pay him. Many of the words used to describe HAK in the articles and books published about him describe him in less than complimentary ways. Was he a ladies’ man, a playboy or a Lothario during the ten years he was single? Only you can decide that for yourself.

2 Communities: After coming to the United States from Furth, Bavaria, Germany in 1938 HAK settled into the upper west side of New York City, an area where

Jewish refugees from Germany gathered. Except for his years in Washington, D.C. he has always lived in NYC and currently has a home in the River House co-op in Turtle Bay just north of the UN Headquarters and a place in South Kent, CT. The River House coop was for years considered “the place” to live in NYC. You can check it out with a Google search on 435 E 52nd St. New York. The top price now is $8.9 million, but considering the number of co-ops in New York going for $10 million or more (Way more!) and the fact that six of the 74 or so units in River House are on the market and have been for years, River House is definitely no longer “the place” to live in NYC. Two stories about the River House will give you an idea of what it’s like. A squabble between the coop owners and the Athletic Club management in the same complex recently led to a proposal to convert the AC into a 12,000 square foot, 3 level coop that would sell for $127 million, a NYC record. It never happened. The home owners eventually bought the rights to the property for $45 million. When Richard Nixon moved to NYC from California he wanted to buy a coop in River House but the owners blackballed him. (Note: All numbers, especially real estate prices, are subject to change and gossip.)


Over the years thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of us have played Diplomacy in a house much like ABC’s, but what about the other end of the spectrum? What would it be like to play Diplomacy at HAK’s?

When I looked at the photos in the “Kissingers at River House” story I was amazed at two things: the use of the color green scheme and the Asian art. Still, it set me to thinking; what other options are there for playing Diplomacy in a green room and how many of those pieces of Asian art were purchased and how many were gifted to the Kissingers by foreign dignitaries or clients?

The Kissinger Co-op unit would comfortably handle a small DipCon event with two drawing rooms (2 boards each), a dining room (2 boards), and a library (one board). The 5 bedrooms would handle over-nighters and the boudoir would easily handle the most intimate negotiations. Oh, and the 7 bathrooms would easily allow one per Power. A staff of 3-5 would take care of player’s needs, I’m sure.

One step up scale would be The Green Room at the White House, fine for a single board game. Who knows, the president herself might drop in for a round or two? (The Green Room in the White House) Another option, especially for celebrity watching players would be a game in any of the Green Rooms found in major theaters, television studios, or large meeting places. Here’s a sample

No topic is off limits in The Green Room in theaters, Famous Green Rooms. Would Italy do better there?

Kissinger and Associates office is located in an ugly office building at 350 Park Ave., NY, about 3 blocks from River House. It’s also the home of Pete Peterson’s Blackstone Group and many, many international financial firms. The building directory in the lobby does not list HKA as a tenant.


Same name, but this one was founded by Darryl Kissinger in 1985, three years after HAK founded his consulting firm. Its corporate headquarters are at 2117 Main St., Centerport, PA. It’s a software company and Michelle Kissinger told me they get a lot of interesting mail, email and phone calls from people, especially overseas, looking to speak with Dr. Kissinger. If that wasn’t enough for you there’s also a Kissinger Associates, Inc. in Overland Park, MO, a landscape design company run by Brian Whitfill. I wonder how much mail they get for HAK.

The Hilton Waldorf Astoria

Located some three blocks from the Kissinger offices and six blocks from the Kissinger River Front co-op the Waldorf Astoria’s Presidential Suite (#35A) is traditionally the home of the President pr the Secretary of State when in NYC at the UN or other official business. The US Ambassador to the UN has her own suite. Kissinger, of course, stayed there many times when he was Secretary of State or accompanying the President. I was curious how either of them could afford the going rate for the Presidential Suite, rumored to be the neighborhood of $10,000 a night, but then I discovered the Waldorf Astoria’s web site offers a best available rate starting at $329 a night, and purely by coincidence the per diem lodging allowance in Manhattan is $309 a night (probably $329 on an up to date site). So not to worry.

More worrisome to the White House, the Secret Service (Well, perhaps not so much as they have other worries at the moment.) and the NSA is the fact that a Chinese company has just announced plans to purchase the Waldorf Astoria for some $2 billion. Perhaps now the hotel staff will be more worried about bed bugs than electronic ones.

2 Careers: HAK’s career as an educator, writer, diplomat, statesman, corporate advisor and commentator is well known. ABC completed his education, created his magnum opus, Diplomacy, became a mail carrier and devoted himself to being a husband and father.

2 Passions: HAK nominal passion was diplomacy, but in reality he had only one passion, himself. It would be easy to say that Diplomacy was ABC’s passion but those who knew him well knew better. He was fond of Diplomacy, after all he had created it, but he was passionate about other things, such as baseball and history, as well.

2 Goals: HAK’s goal is to be remembered for doing many things on a grand scale. ABC’s goal was to be remembered for doing one small thing very well.

2 Worlds: HAK’s dream was of a world in perfect order, preferably one created by him. ABC’s dream, at least as expressed in his creation, Diplomacy, was of a world in chaos where the struggle for victory was more important than the peace that might come with it.

2 Great Achievements: HAK’s greatest achievement was himself. ABC’s greatest achievement, to others, was his creation, Diplomacy; but I suspect he would have said his greatest achievement was his family. Certainly when he talked about them his eyes had a sparkle that I never saw him display over a Diplomacy board.

2 Ideas: Does a balance of power lead to a balance of order; or does a monopoly of power lead to an imposition of order by a single power? Or does the mere possession of a monopoly of power by a single power lead to a balance of power and a balance of order? Consider the examples of Rome, Great Britain and the USA. This is the great dilemma that one, HAK, south to resolve and the other, ABC, sought to enjoy.


Harvard University at the end of WWII was a very different place than it is today. Although considered one of the nation’s top schools it did not have the towering reputation it does today. As the War ended the university knew it was going to be swamped with students taking advantage of the GI Bill that Congress had passed in 1944.

HAK came to Harvard with some part time college work already completed, his military service in the Army done and even some experience as an instructor in post WWII Germany and quickly established himself. In Germany a major influence on him was a mentor named Fritz Kraemer. At Harvard his early mentor was a tutor named William Y. Elliott. It was tough for the over-enrolled class of ’50 since the school was short of dorms, classrooms, and more. Kissinger recalls having to sleep on a bunk bed in a gym for the first few months, but the school hired more teachers, cut down the time required to get a degree and did its best to deal with the situation. ABC had no military GI Bill to pay for his schooling but he did have a scholarship that helped. In 1953 tuition at Harvard was $800 a year, compared to $44,000 a year for tuition and fees, plus $24,000 in nonfee expenses and $2,300 for medical insurance in 2014.

We should keep in mind that while HAK and ABC were studying at Harvard the Korean War was going on and many WWII vets were called back to duty. Some 1.789,000 Americans served in the Korean War of which some 33,600 were killed in action. More than 3,200 died in non-hostile incidents and more than 8,100 are still missing. Since the Korean War another 2,000,000 Americans have served with the military in South Korea; and technically the war is not over yet.


HK received his BA summa cum laude in Political Science at Harvard College (Yes, there is a difference between Harvard College and Harvard University.). His 377 page essay was on “The Meaning of History: Reflections on Spengler, Toynbee and Kant.” He lived in Adams House at Harvard University and his tutor was William Yandell Elliott. In 1952 he got his MA and in 1954 he got his Ph.D., both from Harvard University. His Ph.D. dissertation was on “A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace 1812-1822.” It was about the same length as his BA paper. The work praised conservative diplomats of the day for building a stable and peaceful international system. Interestingly, even today it is almost impossible to get a copy of the HK Ph.D. dissertation except from a few libraries, although the book based on it is available in multiple editions. The relatively short time for the advanced degrees reflected Harvard’s post-WWII policy of speeding up its programs to allow more students to go through the school.

HAK remained on the Harvard Department of Government, not Political Science or International Relations, faculty for some 15 years while he increasingly dabbled in politics, first as a Rockefeller Republican but then switched to advising Richard Nixon in 1968. While at Harvard one of his students was Nancy McGinnis, a friend of the Rockefellers. During his White House years as National Security Advisor while on a temporary leave of absence from Harvard, Kissinger was given an ultimatum by the University, return to your teaching or lose your chance at a tenured full professorship. Kissinger decided to stay with Nixon and eventually became secretary of state.


ABC enrolled in Harvard University’s Department of History the same year HK received his BA summa cum laude. After completing his lower division classes ABC had the time to take the classes he really wanted: European 19th Century History with Sidney Fay and Political Geography with Derwent Whittlesley, both of whom had a major influence on his design of Diplomacy just two years later He lived in Lowell House and most of his classes were in Robinson Hall; which still exists and may well have been the site of the first Diplomacy game ever played, probably in 1953 or 1954. He also belonged to the school Chess Club and was Secretary of the Taft for President group on campus. According to Laura M. Johnson of the Harvard History Undergraduate Office ABC’s thesis, “The Establishment of the Wang Ching-wei (or Wang Jingwei) Regime in Occupied China “was accepted but since he did not graduate Magna cum laude no copy of it was retained by the school library. Wang was an interesting Chinese warlord turned politician who first flirted with the Nazis and then became president of the ROC. He even made the cover of a Time magazine issue in 1935. Wikipedia has articles on Fay, Whittlesley and Wang. In 1953 ABC received his BA in History with an emphasis on East Asia and in 1954 he enrolled in Harvard’s Law School.


Photos for ABC & HAK:

Wang Ching-Wei on the cover of Time magazine

Wikipedia article on Wang Jingwei

Memo of HAK and Mao meeting

We know that HAK met FTF with Mao several times and the pictures and stories document that well. What they don’t tell us about the iconic photo of the two meeting in Mao’s office/home in the Forbidden City was that besides the two of them, their aides, and the photographer, there were also present some of Mao’s female bodyguards (discreetly hidden behind the bookshelves in the background of the photo), a spittoon and a chamber pot!

ABC, on the other hand wasn’t really interested in China or Wang Jing wei when he wrote his thesis and his grade showed it. I suspect, although I don’t know it, that he was probably “guided” toward that subject by a graduate student advisor who was writing his own thesis on the same subject. I know I ran into that problem in my own school days when an assistant professor of literature working on her Ph.D. thesis on Ernest Hemingway required all of her students to do their senior paper on some aspect of Hemingway. I wrote mine on the significance of bullfighting in the writings of Hemingway but it backfired. She loved it and I got an A despite all the blood and gore I peppered throughout the paper.


An Untold Story about ABC, HAK, the White House, DipCon V, and Baseball!

It was at DipCon V held in Chicago in 1972 I believe, at The Drake Hotel that I first met ABC. For Allan and Hilda Calhamer attending wasn’t a big deal, or maybe it was, even though it was their first appearance at a DipCon event, because they only lived a half hour drive away from the Drake, but for the Dippers who came, even in those early days, from all over America to meet “the man who invented Diplomacy” it was a big deal, and that included me. I would never have dreamed of attending that DipCon, despite having co-hosted the previous one in San Diego with Rod Walker, but one of my professors and a mentor (Adm. Robert L. Dennison, USN) encouraged me to go and made it possible. Dennison, by the way, was the commander of USN forces during the Cuban missile crisis and was a big help when I approached Graham T. Allison about his “Essence of Decision” study on that event. As you’ll begin to see, the world of Diplomacy, Washington and Harvard is really quite small.

During the Con I had a chance to talk to Allan one on one several times and I think it was then that our friendship first began. I recall that one of our conversations was about the popularity of the game in Washington, even in the Nixon White House. Jamie Young and I told him about our tour of the White House and how I met HAK unexpectedly when she was showing me the “National Security Advisor’s Office” and he walked in the door. He was polite enough but seemed a bit reserved and perhaps a bit embarrassed that I’d seen his “pig sty” of an office which most college assistant professors would have been ashamed of, let alone the country’s second more powerful man in foreign affairs). We talked a bit about his books and I mentioned I had read his first major work —he liked that, especially coming from a non-Harvard student, I suppose, and even asked me a few questions (a professor checking to see if his student had done his homework, I assume). Later Jamie explained to me that she had just turned down a job offer from HAK to join his staff because “he just didn’t feel like a good fit,” and immediately became known in Foggy Bottom as “the woman who said no to HAK.” (This in the days when HAK was Washington’s resident playboy. Jamie’s decision to say no to HAK won her a powerful mentor in Washington, another Henry, “Scoop Jackson” the Senator from Boeing and a Senate powerhouse in military and foreign affairs, steered her toward ACDA, which was handling US-USSR SALT negotiations, and eventually into the State Department where her career lasted well over 30 years. Anyway, I digress, and I only tell the story to show the early post-Harvard links between HAK and ABC.

In fact, as I found out a day or so later, Allan was a lot more interested in baseball than he was Diplomacy. He wandered around the gaming venue with what we thought was a hearing aid, but was really an earplug for a transistor radio that he had on during every Chicago Cubs game. Chicago was “hot” that summer. It was the Cubs 100th season and they would end up 2nd (to Pittsburgh) in the NL East with an 85-70 record. If you were in the know, you could tell how the Cubs were doing just from watching facial reactions to the play-by-play (Alas, it didn’t seem to work in Dip games, at least when I played with him.). At one point he told me that he’d had to forgo going to see the Cubs at home because of the Con. I asked him if it was worth it. He thought about it a long time and then said, “Yeah, I think so.”

Part II: THE dip&Dip YEARS

While a University student ABC developed his game Diplomacy. While a law school student he perfected it, and eventually gave up his idea of becoming a lawyer if he ever had one, and went to work for Sylvania in 1958 to do operations research while he continued to work on his game. In 1959 he privately printed the first 500 copies of Diplomacy which he offered for sale through local game stores and ads in magazines like The Atlantic at a price of $7.00. In 1961, the year John Kennedy, another Harvard graduate and reputed early Diplomacy fan, became president; ABC licensed a small Boston company called Games Research Inc. to market the game. John Moot took a personal interest in his new product and worked hard to popularize the game and made it successful. Calhamer received a 5% royalty for each game sold. By this time everybody in the History and Government Departments at Harvard and the other Boston schools had heard about ABC’s game Diplomacy. While it didn’t become exactly a rage it was definitely the “in” thing to do among the campus students, faculty and hanger-ons in the know. When the rumor spread that JFK was playing Diplomacy in the White House everybody wanted to try it.

What you’ve read so far is pretty much a matter of public record and references to this history can be found in some of the articles written about ABC during his life and in obituaries published after he passed. Most of those obits, I noticed, usually just repeated the same facts and stories from the earlier articles. What follows now is told here for the first time, I believe. It came about because of my admiration for another Harvard man, Graham T. Allison. He had a huge impact on my own academic career dating back to when I first read his book ESSENCE OF DECISION, an analysis of the decision-making processes used in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis (and which I’ve been trying to turn into a Diplomacy-type game ever since. Even Jack McHugh and I discussed such a project.). Allison has had a long and distinguished career as a political scientist and professor at the Kennedy School at Harvard. While thinking about writing this story it occurred to me that he might know something about the history of Diplomacy at Harvard. I sent off an email and a few days later I had a reply.

“Yes, I played the game a half dozen times when I was a grad student. Jim Wilson (Professor James Q Wilson at Harvard, passed away at age 80 in 2012) was a fan. One of the others who played was Ed Epstein (well known author of many JFK Conspiracy books).

“It’s an engaging game, a great way to remind one of the problems anyone playing Germany faces, and a good reminder of the role of deception as well as fidelity in diplomacy. Good luck with your effort.”

Knowing that Allison is 74, Wilson was 80 when he passed two years ago, and Epstein must be about the same; I realized that I was in a race against the clock to track some of these people down before it was too late.

I sent another email off to Ed Epstein asking about his Diplomacy playing at Harvard. Once again I had a reply within days.

“It is a long story I am happy to tell you about. The players were Graham, myself, James Q. Wilson, Ed Banfield, Paul Weaver, Suzanne Garment, the late Allan Sindler and a few others.

“I also played in a day after Xmas game at the home of James Chase in the 1990s.

“We also played in East Hampton with Nora Ephron, Joe Rose, Joe Heller, Peter Maas and George Plimpton.

James Quinn Wilson (May 27, 1931 – March 2, 2012) was an American academic, political scientist, and an authority on public administration. Most of his career was spent as a professor at UCLA and Harvard. He coauthored a leading university textbook on American government, as well as many scholarly books and articles, and op-ed essays. He gained national attention for a 1982 article introducing the broken windows theory. Wilson served on many national committees and boards, and was elected president of the American Political Science Association.

Graham Tillett Allison, Jr. (born 23 March 1940) is an American political scientist and professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is renowned for his contribution in the late 1960s and early 1970s to the bureaucratic analysis of decision making, especially during times of crisis. His book Remaking Foreign Policy: The Organizational Connection, co-written with Peter Stanton, was published in 1976 and had some influence on the foreign policy of the administration of President Jimmy Carter which took office in early 1977. Since the 1970s, Allison has also been a leading analyst of U.S. national security and defense policy, with a special interest in nuclear weapons and terrorism.

Edward Jay Epstein (born in 1935 in New York City) is an American investigative journalist and a former political science professor at Harvard, UCLA, and MIT.He taught courses at these schools for three years. While a graduate student at Cornell University in 1966, he published the book Inquest, an influential critique of the Warren Commission probe into the John F. Kennedy assassination. Epstein wrote two other books about the Kennedy assassination, eventually collected in The Assassination Chronicles: Inquest, Counterplot, and Legend (1992). His books Legend (1978) and Deception (1989) drew on interviews with retired CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Jesus Angleton, and his 1982 book The Rise and Fall of Diamonds was an expose of the diamond industry and its economic impact in southern Africa. After teaching at Harvard, UCLA, and MIT, Epstein decided to pursue his writing career back in New York City.

Edward Christie Banfield (1916–1999) was an American political scientist, best known as the author of The Moral Basis of a Backward Society (1958), and The Unheavenly City (1970). One of the leading scholars of his generation, Banfield was an adviser to Republican presidents (Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan). Banfield began his academic career at the University of Chicago, where he was a friend and colleague of Leo Strauss and Milton Friedman. In 1959, Banfield went to Harvard, where he remained for the rest of his career, except for a brief tenure at the University of Pennsylvania.

Suzanne Garment is an American scholar, writer, editor and attorney. She is the executive editor of Jewish Ideas Daily. Garment holds the A.B. from Radcliffe College, the M.A. from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, the PhD in political science from Harvard University, the J.D. and a master of laws degree in taxation from Georgetown She has served as a visiting scholar at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University; special counsel to Richard Ravitch, New York Lieutenant Governor and as counsel to the Task Force on the State Budget Crisis, co-chaired by Ravitch and former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. Before earning the J.D., she was a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; associate editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal; author of the “Capital Chronicle” column at the Wall Street Journal; and special assistant to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Garment has taught politics and public policy at Yale and Harvard Universities.

Allan P Sindler is an author and scholar on presidential politics. Known for his research on Louisiana politics and biography of Huey Long.

Nora Ephron (EHF-rihn; May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012) was an American journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, director, and blogger. Ephron is best known for her romantic comedies and was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Writing: for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally..., and Sleepless in Seattle. She won a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally… She sometimes wrote with her sister Delia Ephron. Her last film was Julie & Julia. She also co-authored the Drama Desk Award–winning theatrical production Love, Loss, and What I Wore. In 2013, Ephron received a posthumous Tony Award nomination for Best Play for her play Lucky Guy.

Joseph Heller (May 1, 1923 – December 12, 1999) was an American satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. The title of one of his works, Catch-22, entered the English lexicon to refer to a vicious circle wherein an absurd, no-win choice, particularly in situations in which the desired outcome of the choice is an impossibility, and regardless of choice, a same negative outcome is a certainty. Although he is remembered primarily for Catch-22, his other works center on the lives of various members of the middle class and remain examples of modern satire.

Peter Maas (June 27, 1929 – August 23, 2001) was an American journalist and author. He was born in New York City and attended Duke University. Maas had Dutch and Irish heritage. He was the biographer of Frank Serpico, a New York City Police officer who testified against police corruption. He is also the author of the number one New York Times bestseller, Underboss, about the life and times of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. His other notable bestsellers include The Valachi Papers, Manhunt, and In a Child's Name, recipient of the 1991 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime book. The Valachi Papers, which told the story of Mafia turncoat Joseph Valachi, is widely considered to be a seminal work, as it spawned an entire genre of books written by or about former Mafiosi. Peter Maas was married to Audrey Gellen Maas, with whom he adopted a son, John-Michael Maas. Audrey died in 1975. He died in New York City, survived by his third wife, Suzanne, and their son, Terrence. He made a brief cameo as himself in an episode of Homicide.

George Ames Plimpton (March 18, 1927 – September 25, 2003) was an American journalist, writer, literary editor, actor, and occasional amateur sportsman. He is widely known for his sports writing and for helping to found The Paris Review. Plimpton was also famous for "participatory journalism" which included competing in professional sporting events, acting in a Western, performing a comedy act at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and playing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and then recording the experience from the point of view of an amateur.

“I also used it in a seminar at Harvard I taught offering an A to a winner and Bs to losers.
“What else would you like to know?” (Ed Epstein in an email to the author.)

The amazing thing to me was discovering that all but one (I think I know who one of the two was but I’m not sure) of these people has a wikipedia entry and most of them are very impressive. The first group consists mostly of Harvard faculty members (students then and/or faculty since and/or now), except one who has passed. I’m not sure who the James Chase mentioned is. The East Hampton group is definitely a different crowd from the Harvard academics and shows that Diplomacy was popular or at least tried by people in the entertainment and literary fields.

I was also unable to find any record of either HAK or ABC having played Diplomacy with any of these people at Harvard or elsewhere. If anyone knows differently please let me know. My point is to demonstrate that there was and is a whole hobby devoted to Diplomacy beside the one we know. So many of us, especially old timers, have tended to think in terms of Boardman Numbers and those who played Diplomacy PBM and such without realizing that there was a whole different hobby out there besides ours who never came in contact with the postal hobby. One of the purposes of this article is to establish the fact that there was a Diplomacy hobby beyond the postal one supported by hobbyists like ABC, Conrad von Metzke and Gary Coughlan.


Center for Government and International Studies

It’s a long way from the Harvard of 1950s to the Harvard of 2014. The pictures of Robinson Hall, built in 1900 s by a wealthy alumni donor is a classic four story brick building that doesn’t look much different than some of the halls built a century earlier at some of America’s best old schools. Today the CGIS Knafel Hall and the Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS) South are two modern, five story buildings built in 2005 that mirror each other in style and design. The Knafel Building contains the Department of Government, the Center for American Political Studies and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.

The South Building contains the History Department and The Asia Center, the Center for Geographic Analysis, the Committee on African Studies, the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, the Committee on Regional Studies, the David Rockeller Center for Latin American Studies, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Harvard-China Fund, the Korean Institute, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the South Asia Institute and the Institute for Diplomatic Studies.


ABC retired from the Post Office in the 1990s and except for the occasional visit to a Diplomacy Convention pretty much contented himself with following the hobby from a distance and enjoying his other interests such as baseball and his beloved Cubs, history and ballet. After he passed earlier this year I read the many obituaries published all over the world about “the man who invented Diplomacy.” One thing I noticed was that no obituary appeared in The Crimson, Harvard’s school newspaper, although a web search did reveal some items about his days there as a student. I emailed the paper to find out why they hadn’t published an obit about Allan and Nicholas Fandos, the managing editor of the paper, responded that there were so many distinguished alumni passing that the paper had no room for obituaries of this kind. He suggested I try the Harvard magazine.


As I think everyone knows HAK, at 91, is still very much with us.

We last left HAK deciding to stay with Richard Nixon and not return to Harvard. His reward for that was the secretary of state position. Interestingly, as a naturalized citizen Henry Kissinger, like Madeline Albright after him, was not eligible to be president. Still, as long as he had Nixon’s support Kissinger was a very powerful figure in American foreign policy.

Since his falling out with Harvard over the tenured professorship the academic world wondered what would become of him and his papers, a collection numbering over a million pieces? That seems like a lot but in comparison my Diplomacy archives ran to over 300 boxes or some 300,000 pieces. In comparison, when Harry S Truman went home to Missouri from Washington his presidential papers totaled 45,000 pieces. But, having seen them, I’ll tell you that Truman’s papers are a lot more interesting than Kissinger’s or mine.

That said, I should mention that the full record of Kissinger’s stewardship as National Security Advisor, Secretary of State, and presidential advisor to two presidents is not yet written. Just last month a search of documents from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library at the request of the National Security Archive revealed that Kissinger had ordered plans drawn up to strike ports and military installations in Cuba and to send Marine battalions to Cuba to “clobber” the Cubans, as he put it. Mr. Kissinger, the documents show, worried that the United States would look weak if it did not stand up to a country of just eight million people. HAK obviously subscribes to the theory that he who lives longest and writes the last book on a subject will be the winner. Here are some tidbits of trivia I found researching this article:

Take a simple question like “How many books has HAK written? Follow up questions: 1) How many did he sell? 2) How much did he make? 3) How good were they? Answers: Lots. Millions. Very good but not great.

Not content with just being an author HAK is also variously credited and listed as a: sole author, co-author, contributor, author of forward, author of introduction, and editor. Hey, every little credit adds to the bottom line and the CV. lists 5,909 results including books by, books about on a variety of subjects in a variety of categories, in a variety of mediums (hardback, paperback, Kindle, compact disc, etc.). There’s even a DVD on HAK available from NG.

B& lists 210 products (including Nook), including 15 different biographies (first in 1973 and most recently in 2009), a biography of Henry (Did you know his name was originally Heinz?) and Walter Kissinger (not counting HAK’s own multi-volume autobiography) and 114 titles about him lists 75 titles.

www.abebooks has the best prices. (FYI, I am told ABE is owned by Amazon.)

One reviewer listed 31 books by HAK.

The official HAK web site lists 20 titles. DIPLOMACY was published 20 years ago this year.

Here’s the official list in his latest book, WORLD ORDER, of books by HAK with some hot titles offered online:

  • WORLD ORDER (2014)
  • ON CHINA (2011)
  • A WORLD RESTORED: METTERNICH, CASTLEREAGH, AND THE PROBLEMS OF PEACE, 1812-1822 (THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH by William Shrier was published in 1960, $1.25 for a 1245 page paperback that took millions months to read. I read it in three days. HK’s book, published in 1957, but written earlier, 356 pp. goes for $34. It took me months to read it because although written in English it read like it was written in German.)
  • NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND FOREIGN POLICY (1957) these last two books, WORLD RESTORED and NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND FOREIGN POLICY are the foundation of any understanding of HAK.
  • 1973 HAK co-awarded The Nobel Peace Prize
  • 1982: Kissinger and Associates Inc. founded
  • DIPLOMACY (1994) ($226 for a signed and inscribed copy, a signed copy in good condition goes for $125 with recipient’s signature and notes.)

But writing didn’t bring in the big money fast enough to maintain HAK’s life style which, as we’ve seen, was very expensive indeed. So, to generate some cash flow he set up KISSINGER AND ASSOCIATES, INC. a consulting business, a one man think-tank using HAK’s brain and contacts. Using a $5 million loan from Goldman Sachs, which he paid back in two years, HAK was in business.

I followed what he was doing closely and I was amused to discover he was doing the same thing I had done with THE INSTITUTE FOR DIPLOMATIC STUDIES in 1971 when I created a “not for profit” corporation. Some serious Google searching will tell you all about its headquarters on Park Avenue, his board, his staff, and his clients; or at least as much about them as he wants you to know. Note the name Etienne Davignon on his board. Old time IDSers and Dippers will recognize that name for sure. Kissinger and Associates was and is a great success. How long it will continue once HAK is gone is anyone’s guess. I suppose it will depend on how good records he kept and who gets control of them.

Still, there were things that needed to be tidied up. He still had two kids from his first marriage and no doubt Nancy worked hard to reestablish contact between them and their father. No one is talking on either side, but at some point Yale University offered the David and Elizabeth scholarships for their higher education. What the quid pro quo was came to light in 2011 when Yale announced that HAK was donating his papers to Yale and it would establish the Johnson (No, not named for LBJ.) Center for the Study of American Diplomacy to house them. In fact, HAK would even donate an unspecified amount of cash to pay for digitalizing his previous donation of papers to the Library of Congress. No doubt all this will bring HAK a significant tax write-off as part of his estate planning.

Still, like any good Dipper HAK was covering his ass and hedging his bets. Prior to a visit as carefully organized as if it were a visit from the Pope or the Queen of England, an invitation was delivered personally by the president of Harvard in New York. HAK then agreed to make an appearance at Harvard, but not on campus, as part of Harvard’s 375th anniversary celebration. Everyone wondered if it was the beginning of a Harvard-Henry Kissinger Détente? At the event Harvard President Faust (Yes, really.) praised HAK and no one mentioned the long estrangement or HAK’s papers donation to Yale. A panel discussion was moderated by Graham T. Allison of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Still, HAK couldn’t control everything, especially the students and there were those who protested long and loudly about his record as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford. Details on all this are available from the Yale and Harvard school and newspaper web sites.

Another example of HAK’s style is the way he handled his relationship with Fritz Kraemer, Read the Google article on Kraemer. It matches the story as I know it. As we’ve seen there’s a nasty side to HAK’s diplomacy: the way he treated his first wife, Kraemer, Jamie (When a powerful man mistreats another powerful man that’s politics, but when he mistreats a minor player in the game; that’s scandalous.), and Schlesinger, and many others, we know this is not diplomacy it’s Machiavelli. Harvard University today is making a big effort to attract what it expects to the “best and brightest” of China’s next next (7th) generation of leaders. Bo Guagua was and may still be a student at Harvard where he apparently majored in fast sports car demolition. His father Bo Xilai is in jail and has disappeared from the top leadership in China. Several sources say that the daughter of current leader Xi Jinping is currently enrolled under an alias and studying (hard, apparently) international business. No one has asked how she’s paying her way at Harvard since her father makes about $12,000 a year. Not to worry, according to media reports the Xi family is worth hundreds of millions, if not more. The number of prospective students from China interested in Boston schools has grown to the point that Hainan Airlines is now flying RTs from Beijing to Boston during prime school recruitment visiting time.

In the days when HAK and ABC were at Harvard most of their activities revolved around a couple of houses and a couple of classroom halls. Today, the expanded programs have filled two major buildings and half dozen smaller ones.

And in projects directly relevant to Dippers Harvard is offering a mapping workshop on the use of digital media and mapping resources in the classroom.

My hope for the future is that Selenne will offer her dad’s personal archives to Harvard and that, since it lost out of the HAK papers, Harvard will accept them. In addition, I hope Harvard magazine will publish a suitable obit for Allan.


I suppose The Big Question on everyone’s mind is, “Did HAK and ABC ever actually meet FTF at Harvard (or anywhere else)? Certainly we know that they were aware of and knew of each other and we know they were both at Harvard at the same time, probably within no more than two blocks of each other; and may well have shared some of the same classrooms and library facilities. However, that said, I do know that neither of them ever mentioned to me that they had met, that there is nothing they themselves said or wrote indicating such a meeting, there is no third-hand reports of such a meeting (at least that I am aware of) and there is no aprophycal evidence that such a meeting ever took place. It’s nice to think it might have happened, but until proof comes to light, it’s just a thought.

What have we learned? One of these men was brilliant and knew it. The other was also brilliant in his own way but doubted it. And therein was our tale.


The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance provided by Hilda Calhamer, Selene Calhamer-Boling, Michelle Kissinger, Nick Pardos, Graham T. Allison, Ed Epstein, David M. Abshire, Laura Johnson, Jamie Young and Tony Despol in researching this project. Any errors are solely the responsibility of the author.

Larry Peery

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