THE FORTY YEARS WAR
The Rise and Fall of the Neocons,
from Nixon to Obama
by LEN COLODNY
and TOM SHACHTMAN
In The Forty Years War, authors Len Colodny, author of the New York Times bestseller Silent Coup, and Tom Schactman, offer an eye-opening exposé of the history of the neoconservative movement—from its little-known role in Richard Nixon’s downfall through its ultimate expression in the preemptive war in Iraq. Groundbreaking and provocative, The Forty Years War documents the neocons’ undermining of the Nixon White House, their success at halting détente during the Ford and Carter years, their uneasy alliance with Ronald Reagan, and their determination to eventually take the U.S. all the way to Baghdad.
In this groundbreaking book, renowned investigative writers Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman chronicle the little-understood evolution of the neoconservative movement—from its birth as a rogue insurgency in the Nixon White House through its ascent to full and controversial control of America's foreign policy in the Bush years, to its repudiation with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. In eye-opening detail, The Forty Years War documents the neocons' four-decade campaign to seize the reins of American foreign policy: the undermining of Richard Nixon's outreach to the Communist bloc nations; the success at halting détente during the Ford and Carter years; the uneasy but effectual alliance with Ronald Reagan; and the determined, and ultimately successful, campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein—no matter the cost.
Drawing upon recently declassified documents, hundreds of hours of interviews, and long-obscured White House tapes, The Forty Years War delves into the political and intellectual development of some of the most fascinating political figures of the last four decades. It describes the complex, three-way relationship of Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and Alexander Haig, and unravels the actions of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz over the course of seven presidencies. And it reveals the role of the mysterious Pentagon official Fritz Kraemer, a monocle-wearing German expatriate whose unshakable faith in military power, distrust of diplomacy, moralistic faith in American goodness, and warnings against "provocative weakness" made him the hidden geopolitical godfather of the neocon movement. The authors' insights into Kraemer's influence on protégés such as Kissinger and Haig—and later on Rumsfeld and the neocons—will change the public understanding of the conduct of government in our time.
Both a work of courageous journalistic investigation and a revisionist history of U.S. foreign policy, The Forty Years War is a must-read for anyone interested in America's standing in the world—yesterday, today, and tomorrow.ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Len Colodny is the bestselling coauthor of Silent Coup: The Removal of a President, which spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He lives in Florida.
Tom Shachtman is the author of thirty books, including Decade of Shocks, 1963-1974; Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold; and Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish. He lives in Connecticut.
Colodny and Shachtman are investigative writers who have taken on the daunting task of explaining how the neoconservative movement spread from the Nixon years right through the end of George Bush's second term. They cover events and important people from Nixon to Obama in a different way than perhaps you or I may look at that part of our history, or maybe not. "Neocons", they explain, are not just war-mongering hawks that make up what many think of as the conservative, extreme right, part of the Republican party, although they do share many of the same ideals. Instead, they are very complicated and come from a very different group than one might think. The authors conclude that they are a small group who follow the political philosophy of Dr. Fristz Kraemer, who was an author, student, military and political advisor over the last forty years.
Little known to some of us, Fritz Kraemer, is detailed including the important part he played in this forty year war. Kraemer was a German who worked as a civilian strategist for the Pentagon for 30 years and was supposedly responsible for inspiring people like Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig and Donald Rumsfeld. Kramer was pro-military and his doctrines pushed for military involvement and much like those of the neocons according to the authors' research. This formed the reason behind Nixon, Ford, and Carter having the foreign and military policies they did. Dick Cheney still continues Kramer's belief in the danger of what he deems weakness on our part.
The first 17 chapters, or "Book One", deal with the Nixon years and what followed. They discuss what led to Nixon's failure in office and the part his foreign policy played in his having to leave office."Book Two" which covers chapters 18 through 30 with the post-Nixon years and the Neocons' Triumph through the Clinton years and into the Bush-Cheney triumph for their cause.
So with these thoughts in mind, the book questions who will carry on for these neocons now? Will it be Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney, or perhaps Mike Huckabee? It may be someone not even in the public eye as yet but whatever, it will reflect on what the recent Election in 2008 means to these neoconservatives and their beliefs and movement. The book epilogue ends this way and leaves the reader wondering what will come next. I found the book, although not of my normal genre choice, to be interesting although did leave me questioning much of what was written. I think it would all depend on your beliefs and position politically on how you will feel about this book. However, which ever way you may go, you will be filled with more information than you can imagine, presented in a fairly easy to follow way, assuming history and politics is of interest to you.
THANKS TO KYLE AND GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
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