74 Foreign Aff. 123 (1995)
Trotskyism to Anachronism - The Neoconservative Revolution

handle is hein.journals/fora74 and id is 715 raw text is: Review Essay

Trotskyism to Anachronism
The Neoconservative Revolution
7obn B. Yudis

The Rise ofNeoconservatism: Intellectuals
and Foreign Affairs, 1945-1994. BY
JOHN EHRMAN. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1995, 256 pp. $27.50.
For 14 years, from the 1973 Jackson-Vanik
amendment until the 1987 Intermediate-
range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a group of
intellectuals known as neoconservatives
shaped, and sometimes dominated,
American foreign policy. They wrote for
Commentary, The Wall Street Journal, and
later The National Interest. They acted
through organizations like the Commit-
tee on the Present Danger and the Com-
mittee for the Free World. They held
important positions in the AFL-CIO lead-
ership and in the office of Senator Henry
M. Jackson, then the most powerful
Democrat on the Senate Armed Services
Committee. And during Ronald Reagan's
first term, they occupied influential posts
in the State and Defense Departments.
George Washington University histo-

rian John Ehrman has recounted how
these intellectuals' views on foreign pol-
icy developed and, once they were ascen-
dant, changed. His book is well written,
and, while some of his choices of people
are eccentric, many of his comments
about particular neoconservatives are
insightful. Ehrman's overall history,
however, is skewed.
Ehrman describes neoconservatism as
the fourth phase in the development of
liberal foreign policy. The first was Cold
War liberalism, which he identifies with
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.'s The Vital
Center, Reinhold Niebuhr's essays, and
the Truman administration's hawkish
National Security Council report, NSC-
68, drafted in 1950 under the supervision
of Paul Nitze. The second was the left-
wing revisionism of the 196os, which he
identifies chiefly with historian William
Appleman Williams and disciples like
Richard Barnet. The third was the
neoliberal synthesis by political scientists

[123]

JOHN B. JUDIS is Senior Editor at The New Republic and author of Grand
Illusion: Critics and Champions ofthe American Century.

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