Max Boot

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies

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Expert Bio

Max Boot is a historian, best-selling author, and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a columnist for the Washington Post. Max Boot’s latest book, Reagan: His Life and Legend, will be released in September 2024 by Norton/Liveright.

His previous biography, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam (Norton/Liveright, 2018), was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in biography. 

Boot is also the author of four other widely acclaimed books: The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right (2018); the New York Times bestseller Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present (2013); War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today (2006); and The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (2002), which won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation as the best nonfiction book pertaining to U.S. Marine Corps history and has been placed on military professional reading lists. 

Boot has been a CNN analyst and a regular guest on MSNBC, NPR, the BBC, and many other radio and television programs. In addition to being a Pulitzer finalist, he was named in 2018 one of the United States’ “Great Immigrants” by the Carnegie Corporation and one of the fifty most influential Jewish Americans by the Forward newspaper. 

Before joining the Council on Foreign Relations in 2002, Boot was the op-ed editor at the Wall Street Journal and, before that, an editor and writer at the Christian Science Monitor. He has also been a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the New York Times, Foreign Policy, Commentary, and many other publications. 

Boot holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley (1991) and a master’s degree in history from Yale University (1992). He was born in Moscow, grew up in Los Angeles, and now lives in the New York area.


  • Washington Post, columnist
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