The first section of The Forty Years War traces the rise of the “neocons” during the fateful presidency of Richard Nixon. Though the conventional narrative has Nixon being overthrown by his traditional enemies on the left, Colodny and Shachtman reveal how much Nixon’s historic fall owed to conservative resentment of the foreign policy of Nixon and Henry Kissinger, particularly Nixon’s overtures to the USSR and China. They reveal how administration insiders—including White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig—used their positions of responsibility to bring Nixon’s foreign policy to a halt. And they show how Nixon’s alienation of the emerging neoconservatives in Washington ultimately left him politically isolated and unable to survive the storms of Watergate.
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