Roger Morris backs new book by Watergate revisionist Len Colodny in which Nixon comes off as a victim of neoconsHistorians in the News
The controversial Watergate author Len Colodny has a new book out that is drawing the support of at least one mainstream historian. Colodny, co-author of the 1990s book, Silent Coup: The Removal of a President, alleged that that the Watergate break-in was orchestrated by John Dean. Few historians in the profession believed the book was credible. Colodny himself has backed off the charge that Nixon was an innocent victim of John Dean's manipulations. But Colodny's new book has won the support of at least one major Nixon biographer, Roger Morris.
In the new work, The Forty Years War: The Rise and Fall of Neocons, From Nixon to Obama, Colodny and co-author Tom Shactman trace the history of the Neo-Cons. Their astounding thesis is that Nixon was a victim of Neo-Cons machinations. According to Morris, who wrote a preface for the book, Colodny and Shactman provide new information and documentation from the 1970s for a “further revision of what they call the ‘toxic mix of fact, myth and distortions’ in the conventional view of the Watergate scandal, and a stunning revelation of how much Nixon’s historic fall traced to his statesmanship as well as his criminality.”
Nixon was long regarded with suspicion by right wing conservatives after he orchestrated detente with the USSR and reopened the door to China. That much is well-known. What Colodny argues is that early Neo-Cons, beginning with the powerful but obscure Fritz G. A. Kraemer, worked in the shadows to undermine his policies and overturn them. Later these same figures opposed Reagan's overtures to Gorbachev. Eventually, under Bush, they finally seized the reins of power and reoriented American foreign policy, winning the foreign policy war they had waged for forty years, a scandal in the eyes of Morris and Colodny. “The hold of Old World tribalism over Washington’s foreign policy through the second half of the twentieth century,” writes Morris, “and the start of the twenty-first is one of the great unacknowledged scandals in American governance.” Complains Morris:
[Neo-Conservatives] base self-promotion and intellectual emptiness would have been merely pathetic if it had not been paid for in a burst of blood in West Baghdad or the Helmand Valley, in hours of cemetery tears and years of hospital agony, in the squandering of national treasure from which, unlike the previous four decades of waste and plunder, there will be no escape.
In this new history of the last forty years, Richard Nixon, long the villain of our history, becomes a kind of hero martyred on the altar of his practical approach to foreign policy. Should others like Morris see virtues in Colodny's account, both Colodny and Nixon could see their reputations rise.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Newly released interactive map shows images of destroyed monuments of Mosul
- How the Rise of the Post Office Explains American Innovation
- These Americans are reliving history and don’t mind repeating it
- Britain largest home is saved for the nation
- Shelter and the slums: capturing bleak Britain 50 years ago
- WSJ features an article by a conservative calling for the abolition of Black History Month
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't
- Princeton U. historian Imani Perry claims mistreatment in parking ticket arrest
- Retired historian George Dennison remains on the payroll at the U. of Montana while faculty are cut
- The Atlantic profiles exciting ways to teach history