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Barbara Keys
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Barbara Keys

Durham University

Fellowship year

2024 - Durham University - Study 33

At CASBS, Barbara Keys will be finishing a book about Henry Kissinger’s efforts to secure his reputation after leaving office. The book, under contract with Simon & Schuster in the US, explores his relationships with critics and admirers and the ways his writings and media appearances have influenced public perceptions of his record in office. Delving into the power of the media, public intellectuals, celebrity culture, and the foreign policy establishment over the last half-century, the book offers a new explanation for Kissinger’s fame. 

Keys is an expert on U.S. international history and is chair of U.S. history at Durham University. She is the author, among other works, of Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s (Harvard University Press, 2014). Her future research will explore the role of emotions and interpersonal relationships in diplomacy, Henry Kissinger’s relationship with Zhou Enlai, Sino-American relations since 1971, and anti-torture campaigns since 1945. 

For more information about her work, see