They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons (Paperback)

The Rise of the Neocons

By Jacob Heilbrunn

Anchor Books, 9781400076208, 320pp.

Publication Date: January 6, 2009



From its origins in 1930s Marxism to its unprecedented influence on George W. Bush's administration, neoconservatism has become one of the most powerful, reviled, and misunderstood intellectual movements in American history. But who are the neocons, and how did this obscure group of government officials, pundits, and think-tank denizens rise to revolutionize American foreign policy?Political journalist Jacob Heilbrunn uses his intimate knowledge of the movement and its members to write the definitive history of the neoconservatives. He sets their ideas in the larger context of the decades-long battle between liberals and conservatives, first over communism, and now over the war on terrorism. And he explains why, in spite of their misguided policy on Iraq, they will remain a permanent force in American politics.

About the Author

Jacob Heilbrunn is frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times editorial page, where he also writes opinion pieces. He was previously a senior editor at The New Republic and an editor at The National Interest. He has written for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, the Washington Monthly, the American Prospect, Commentary, and the Weekly Standard. He was a 1997 Japan Society Fellow and a 1994 Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Germany. He has a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. from Georgetown University.

Praise For They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons

“A fast-paced, edgy profile of the intellectuals whose views about Islam and the Middle East came to dominate foreign policy after 9/11.”
Chicago Tribune

“Persuasive, wide-ranging. . . . Heilbrunn takes a long, nuanced measure of the neocon policy revolution.”
The New York Observer

“Excellent. . . . Heilbrunn adroitly surveys the movement's history from the Trotskyist alcoves of the City College cafeteria up to the present day.”
The New York Review of Books

“Thorough . . . fair. . . . They Knew They Were Right will fit nicely on the rapidly expanding shelf explaining Iraq.”
The Washington Post