Leonid Brezhnev: The Man and His Style, by Henry Kissinger

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT, SENSITIVE/EYES ONLY

“With experience and exposure in dealing with Western leaders, Brezhnev has gained assurance. He has come to enjoy the prerequisites of office–he enjoys fancy cars, natty clothes and a certain elevated lifestyle. In short, he has some of the characteristics of the nouveau-riche. Yet he is proud, as Khrushchev was, of his proletarian background and his march up the ladder of power.

… Brezhnev is a nervous man, partly because of personal insecurity, partly for physiological reasons traced to his consumption of alcohol and tobacco, his history of heart disease and the pressures of his job. You will find his hands perpetually in motion, twirling his gold watch chain, flicking ashes from his ever-present cigarette, clanging his cigarette holder against an ash tray. From time to time, he may stand up behind his chair or walk about. He is likely to interrupt himself or you by offering food or drink. His colleagues obviously humor him in these nervous habits.”

Henry A. Kissinger.
(Box 1 – 11/1/74 – 11/12/74) at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library