Ex-Neocon: Dispatches from the Post 9/11 Ideological Wars

Ex-Neocon: Dispatches from the Post 9/11 Ideological Wars

Ex-Neocon: Dispatches from the Post 9/11 Ideological Wars

Ex-Neocon: Dispatches from the Post 9/11 Ideological Wars


Ex-Neocon consists of Scott McConnell's historical and polemical essays from 2001 to the present. A prominent analyst and journalist who once knew the Kristols and Podhoretzes, worked with them, admired them and identified fully with them, McConnell shows what the thinking was among neocons in those days and why he left the fold. Hd discusses the Neocons and traditional Convervative views on the wars in the Middle East, immigration policy, the US economy and other topics. The book contains an introduction by Philip Weiss, founder of Mondoweiss, the important post-Zionist website.


By Philip Weiss

Though we are contemporaries, it was fitting that Scott McConnell and I knew very little of one another until 2004. Our social and political communities were almost entirely distinct. Scott’s was uptown conservative, mine was downtown and left. He was from the aristocracy—a Columbia wasp who knew his way around clubs—while I am from the meritocracy—which is to say, I got work from Jews I had known at Harvard. My wife had known McConnell in the eighties; and she told me he was proper, shy, conservative, and extremely intelligent.

What brought us together was a project that transcended our backgrounds and temperaments, and that animates the essays in this book: the fight for the country we love against the influence of the neoconservatives. That is a bold claim, but McConnell has done the intellectual labor to earn it in the pages that follow. “Ex-Neocon” tells an important story about the power of ideas. the neoconservatives succeeded in effecting policy beyond their own dreams, and both vision and policy were narrow and dangerous. and undying. McConnell saw early on that despite the patent failure of their crowning project, the Iraq War, the neocons weren’t going away. They had too much going for them, in terms of financial backing and cultural cohesion inside the new Jewish establishment.

It was those sociological observations that drew me to McConnell. I first read “Among the Neocons” in 2004, a year after it came out, and was moved by the author’s willingness to take risks so as to be honest about his own experience. At a time when others were pointedly ignoring the elephant in the room, McConnell spoke about the neoconsU+ their network. He explained that neoconservatism came out of the Jewish community, but it . . .

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