The Forty Years War and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Forty Years War: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons, from Nixon to Obama Hardcover – December 8, 2009

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, December 8, 2009
$3.36 $0.01 $15.95
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

NIxon's Foreign Policy Dreams
Read the first chapter of The Forty Years War by Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman [PDF].

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061253898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061253898
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.7 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,423,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neoconservative ideologues battle pragmatists by fair means and foul in this scattershot history of American foreign policy. Colodny (Silent Coup) and Schachtman (Decade) hang their study on the figure of Fritz Kraemer, an obscure Pentagon analyst, whose championing of a militarized, moralistic foreign policy allegedly inspired two generations of neoconservatives. The book's first half follows the departure of Richard Nixon and erstwhile Kraemer-ite Henry Kissinger from conservative orthodoxy in seeking a rapprochement with Communist powers. In a voluminous rehash of Watergate, the authors insinuate that White House chief of staff and Kraemer protégé Alexander Haig, abetted by reporter Bob Woodward (a sinister mouthpiece), undermined the Nixon presidency for this apostasy. The second half treats ensuing decades as a seesaw struggle in which neocon policy makers' adventurism, from the Iran-Contra affair to the Iraq War, periodically self-destructs and generates a realist backlash. The authors' sharp narrative of factional infighting exhausts itself in flogging the Haig-Woodward conspiracy theory. Kraemer is an ill-chosen central character, more figurehead than intellectual godfather; his sketchily elaborated ideas shed little light on this serviceable but mundane account of the conflict between hawks and doves. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Absorbing…a must read….illuminating and deeply provocative….The Forty Years War is a book that deserves to have a much higher public profile as Colodny and Shachtman are marshalling new evidence to challenge conventional interpretations of late Cold War political history and foreign policy.” (

“[Colodny and Shachtman] tell the story from Nixon to now, and they do it in meticulous and interesting detail.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

“A rigorous and critical examination of the neoconservative movement and the bureaucratic, ideological battles over American foreign policy from 1969 to 2009.…[A] captivating chronicle. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal)

“A well-reported, fast-paced history lesson on the eternal conflict between ideologues and policymakers and the hubris that always accompanies success.” (Kirkus Reviews)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 15 customer reviews
It's a fascinating read, and a truly important, insightful revision of our American history.
Patrick Reynolds
This book is a genuine treasure identifying the 'weed seeds of hatred' lying dormant in the U.S. political landscape, awaiting to germinate given the right conditions.
Marc Daniels
I would suggest this tight control and lack of information may suggest the answer to her question is very well positive.
R. Ryckoff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By RBSProds TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Four and a half ENGROSSING Stars! "The Forty Years War" is an enjoyable investigative work of recent history and political machinations concerning "neo-conservatives", their philosophy, and events they influenced at the highest levels of government. They are one of the most distinctive political camps in America and therefore should get our attention, whether we agree with them or not. This book by authors Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman covers events and key personnel from Nixon to Obama seen in a different light. Neocons are more complex than simply being militaristic 'hawks' and some originate from an unexpected source. They adhere to the political philosophy of author, scholar, military educator, and political advisor Dr. Fritz G. A. Kraemer (1908-2003), a alluring man "with two doctorates [law and economics] and a rapier of an intellect". Born in Germany, he fought the Nazis and communists before emigrating to the USA and joining the Army, receiving a battlefield commission and a Bronze Star at the WW-II's Battle of the Bulge. Neocons include the likes of Kraemer protégés Henry Kissinger (who evolved in a direction explained in the book) & Alexander Haig, former Democrats Paul Wolfowitz & Richard Perle, diplomat Vernon Walters, James Schlesinger, William Kristol, Eliot Abrams, Democrat "Scoop" Jackson, and Douglas Feith, and many others. And what these Neocons have been up to over the last 7 presidential administrations may amaze some and disturb others, as they have waged 40 years of political war with opposing forces.Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Frederick J. Graboske on December 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I must preface my comments with the admission that I played a small role in the development of this book, offering comments to the authors based on my 12 years as supervisory archivist for the Nixon tapes.

There are many reasons to read, and to write, history. One of those reasons is to aid our understanding of how we as a nation got to where we are today. By elucidating the role of Fritz Kraemer's philosophy on policy-makers over the past 40 years, the authors have added to this understanding.

Richard Nixon admired men with strong personalities (John Connally and Bob Haldeman, for example) and people with strong beliefs (Catholics, for example). Nixon was so interested in Kraemer's beliefs, although he did not share them, that he asked Kissinger to bring him in for a conversation. This was a signal mark of respect by Nixon, who accorded it to very few other people. It marks Kraemer as a first-rate intellect.

Colodny & Schachtman demonstrate the influence that Kraemer and his ideas had on two generations of policy-makers at the highest echelons of the government. Of course, the concept of projecting strength is not new; in a sense, it lay behind the creation and implementation of the Cold War containment strategy of surrounding the communist states with American-led military alliances with their forward bases. It lies behind the strategic concept of the aircraft carrier and airborne divisions. The Soviets used the same concept in building the Cuban missile bases that led to the 1962 crisis.

So, Kraemer was not an original thinker, but he was an influential one. He contrasted Nixon's foreign policy pragmatism with his own philosophical idealism.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ray Locker on December 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman break new ground in modern history by fully exploring the influential role played by longtime military adviser Fritz Kraemer, the man who discovered Henry Kissinger and brought Alexander Haig into the Nixon administration's National Security Council. Kraemer's influence continues to this day, as former vice president Dick Cheney echoes Kraemer's belief in the dangers of provocative weakness. Many books have explored the relationship between Kissinger and Richard Nixon. Few have mentioned Kraemer more than briefly. The Forty Years War more than makes up for that omission, and for this alone, it should be considered a groundbreaking work of history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Ryckoff on February 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Fritz Kraemer is certainly a mysterious and important figure. For many years prior to her death in 1988, Mae Brussell tried to unearth information about him to answer an important historical puzzle: was he the SAME Fritz Kraemer who was a top General for Adolph Hitler in WWII?? Given Operation Sunrise, Paperclip, etc., it would certainly be possible that he was recruited by the OSS, ONI and the Pentagon and secretly brought to the US after the war. (I've just ordered this book so have not read it yet)
The extraordinary secrecy and lack of information about him prevented Mae Brussell from ever gaining any definitive information. I would suggest this tight control and lack of information may suggest the answer to her question is very well positive.
That would certainly explain the neo-cons fascist programs and policies, their advocacy and practice of deceit, agressive wars and destruction of individual rights and liberties, among their many atrocities.
When high level Nazis went underground starting in 1943 (De Spinne and Odessa), their plans were to establish the Underground Reich. For this effort, they were extremely successful in dispersing individuals, assets, industrial materials, artwork and massive financial assets overseas (i.e., Egypt, South Africa, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, etc.). Martin Bormann was the top man in charge of the Underground Reich - assisted by many others from the German military, industry, finance, etc. Otto Skorzeny was a very important high level figure in this who went to Egypt in the years after the end of the war. We were told, of course, that these figures died during or at the end of the war as cover for their ongoing work.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?