Talk:Max Boot

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Good article Max Boot has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
August 31, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
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A2Kafir, perhaps if you were to read Boot's works, you would find that he does support American involvement in Imperialist wars. The petty wars of conquest of the 19th century were imperialism. Indeed, they have become the definition of imperialism. That you say otherwise betrays a lack of knowledge on the subject. Stargoat 22:12, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"As a hawk, he dwells on past U.S. failures to persist in various military enterprises." - Appears worded to present his ideas negatively. He also dwells on past US successes, otherwise his promotion of American power and management would be ridiculous.

I added the bit about Boot's belief why the American occupation of Hispanola failed; seemed fair to use that as a counterpoint to "Such critics will also note Boot's incredibly shortsighted praise of nations like Haiti and the Dominican Republic..."Mattm1138 01:36, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Just curious - was he born "Max Boot" or is that a pseudonym?--Paul Moloney 09:38, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

The article is unworthy propaganda. E. W. August 3, 2006

In what sense is it unworthy propaganda?Tenmilefc 04:19, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

POV can be very subtle[edit]

The very first sentence of this article strikes me as peculiar:

"Max Boot (born Moscow, Soviet Union) is a neoconservative advocate, author and military historian who describes himself as a supporter of a strong U.S. leadership role in the world."

That description of his position is extremely vague and not particularly unique, since the same could be said for almost every mainstream U.S. politician of either major party. It is also not a very accurate representation of his own self-description. Specifically, Boot describes his position as support for the use of "American might to promote American ideals." This is quite different from simply a "strong U.S. leadership role." I've changed the text accordingly. -Tobogganoggin talk 03:23, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

If you check the article cited here, you will see that Boot does not describe himself as a neoconservative in it at all and does not as the above user asserts "describe his position as support for the use of American might to prmote American ideals." Rather, Boot describes neoconservatism while making no claim that he is himself a "member" of any such group. The person who continues to reinstate propagandistic information about Boot here on Wikipedia appears to be obsessed with smearing Max Boot by associating him with a term that some are attempting to turn into a term of abuse generally.

Boot has, furthermore, never been "a member" of the PR firm Benador Associates, a reference which implies a paid relationship of some sort. This fact can be checked by emailing Max Boot himself at CFR. Lynnchu 18:53, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Lynn Chu

I'll concede that perhaps I could have chosen a more appropriate title for this talk page section. As far as Benador goes, I have no knowledge of that organization, and other than citation formatting, I have made no edits whatsoever regarding its inclusion in the article text. However, I did alter the text so that instead of specifically labeling Boot a "neocon", it merely names neoconservatism as the position for which he is known. You may find relevant the following excerpt of Boot's own writing from December 2002, in "What the Heck is a Neocon?":

Like Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, "hard Wilsonians" want to use American might to promote American ideals.

This is, in case you haven't guessed, my own view too. So I guess that makes me a neocon.

While there is a current debate here regarding the "Neoconservatives" category, for the purposes of the article text, Boot's writing has
  • described a particular foreign policy position,
  • attributed (however reluctantly) the label "neoconservative" to those who hold that position, and
  • declared his own agreement with that position.
Regardless of the current popularity of the position, describing these cited facts in a neutral way ("has been a prominent advocate for neoconservative foreign policy") doesn't appear to be engaging in either personal or partisan attacks. I ask that you please refrain from making such attacks yourself on other editors. -Tobogganoggin talk 00:56, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I would like to point out that the paragraph about Boot and Milloy was obvious partisan propaganda that does not belong in the entry at all. It is a pastiche of false insinuations. First, checking the cited article, it turns out to be a draft of an unsigned Wall Street Journal editorial authored by Boot, that was faxed to Milloy for comment, a copy of which turned up in some litigation discovery, and is dragged up here to be mischaracterized as an "article" on which the two "collaborated." This is an artful twisting of rhetoric to disguise the fact that it was not a collaboration at all, not a co-written article, or even an authored article, but an official WSJ editorial, the points of view of which are dictated by the WSJ editorial board. The fax to Milloy was a routine factcheck by WSJ writer Boot. Milloy, like anyone factchecked by any journalist, was given an opportunity to comment, and did so in a few completely unremarkable tiny marginalia. And there was absolutely nothing remarkable about the editorial itself, as it was one in a long line of editorials of the WSJ in support of deregulatory efforts. The editorial discussed a recently issued government report that had found that certain government regulatory efforts were expensive and dysfunctional. Ho hum. Another day, another such WSJ editorial. Nothing in the Boot fax to Milloy supported any of the successive insinuations by the propagandist, such as that some kind of scandal had surrounded Milloy, or had erupted from the publication of the editorial, or that there had been any finding by anyone of anything unseemly about Milloy, or about any grants he may or may not have received from any corporations to conduct whatever deregulatory research he was then engaged in.

I am actually finding fascinating the concerted effort here, that is obviously malicious, and rhetorically fairly sophisticated, to manufacture smear propaganda, precisely calculated to mislead. ````Lynnchu

Rather than delete information, it would be better to correct it. I've revised the para to indicate the main change proposed by Milloy and adopted by Boot. Readers can judge whether or not it's remarkable. Certainly, it was misleading, given the evidence that subsequently emerged about Milloy's funding sources. JQ 02:54, 4 March 2007 (UTC)\

2601:405:4100:8105:5C78:9DFE:5F23:CEC1 (talk) 19:36, 3 June 2016 (UTC)Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). </ref></ref></ref></ref></ref></ref></ref></ref></ref></ref>==Explaining a significant deletion== I was drawn to this page in the context of an argument about the objectivity and value of Wikipedia. After reviewing the page, I am sorry to acknowledge that I must agree with the criticism at least in this context. JQ suggests information should not be deleted, but instead, should be corrected. That's correct, except if the information itself violates Wikipedia's Policy on Biographies for Living Persons. That policy requires that the only material included be material "relevant to the subject's notability" and that "does not overwhelm the article." I deleted the following because (as I'll explain below), it is neither relevant to Boot's notability and it plainly "overwhelms the article."

What I deleted: According to Paul D. Thacker, while preparing for The Wall Street Journal a 1994 editorial which endorsed a report criticizing EPA risk assessment methods, Boot submitted a rough draft of his piece to controversial science pundit Steven J. Milloy for review.[2] The report, which also criticized a proposed OSHA ban on indoor cigarette smoking in the workplace,[3] was published by the Regulatory Impact Analysis Project and was written by Milloy,[4] the group's founder and president. At the suggestion of Milloy, who was later found to have been funded by major cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris,[5] Boot changed the description of the group from "private consulting firm" in the draft to "nonprofit research group" for the final editorial.[6]

The problems in this paragraph are many:

  1. The paragraph is written as if it is highly unusual for the writer of an editorial at a major paper to fact check the editorial with outside sources before it is written. In fact, as I've just confirmed with two major US papers, it is not.
  2. The paragraph is written as if Boot had any knowledge about Milloy's funding relationship. There is no suggestion that Boot did. And even if he did, so what? Is there an ethical problem if the NYT fact-checks an editorial about GM with GM?
  3. The paragraph puts Boot in a false light that defames his character by suggesting (wrongly) that his behavior was unethical or even unusual.
  4. The paragraph constitutes 30% of the article about Boot. As it is totally "[ir]relevant to the subject's notability," it also obviously "overwhelm[s] the article."

I am also surprised at the criticism raised about Boot's current employer attempting to correct these errors. Attention should go to the substance of the correction, not the editor. But if that norm is not correct, then let this editor be clear: I have met Boot once in my life. As a writer for the WSJ, he only ever mentioned me in a negative light. Boot is a conservative; I am not. And I have no relationship to his employer, nor will I. I am instead simply a supporter and believer in the work of this project (Wikipedia), and disappointed that this page at least has been ceded to a plainly non-NPOV. lessig 08:18, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I concur in part with what you are saying (in respect of undue weight), but I think the problem isn't so much with sources but rather that this is a classic example of synthesis of published material serving to advance a position. The paragraph basically sets out a series of premises and leads the reader to draw a conclusion, without providing a reliable source that draws the same conclusion.
If such a source were provided, of course, then there would be no problem and the section could probably be shortened considerably since the conclusion could be simply stated and linked.
I am minded to remove the section again, but will probably have to sleep on it and canvass some other opinions since I've no stomach for an edit war.CIreland 01:18, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
That deleted section has apparently been restored since your comment. Although I previously attempted to improve the citations for that passage, I agree that it amounts to a synthesis of facts into an argument not made by any of the cited sources. Maybe replacing it with something like:
"Several bloggers have accused Boot of unethical collusion with the subject of the editorial, etc..."
would be better, followed by a discussion of their additional accusations that scrubbing of this very wikipedia article has been attempted. While all of this does seem notable enough to include, I'm not sure if this would be an appropriate citation of blogs. Either way, I've tagged the article and section with {{or}} and {{synthesis}} accordingly.
- Tobogganoggin talk 09:37, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I decided to take this over to WP:COI (possibly more appropriate for WP:BLP to see what can be done to resolve this dispute. To participate in the discussion, click here. - Tobogganoggin talk 03:44, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Remove Controversy section? So far I'm the only other person to express an opinion in the thread over at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard#Max Boot. Based on the arguments in that thread, I believe there is enough reason to delete the Controversy section. In fact, nobody who has joined the thread on *this* page has given any reason why the section should be kept. (Participants so far are Lessig, CIreland and Tobogganoggin). A few months ago, the Controversy section was deleted and restored a number of times, but most of the participants were 'drive-by' editors who did not leave anything on the Talk page. Let's try to get a clear Talk page consensus one way or the other on the status of this section. Take a look at lessig's points 1-4 above, and Tobogganoggin's points 1-6 that he made in the COIN thread. Try to answer those arguments if you disagree with their conclusion, and let's try to obtain a consensus one way or the other. EdJohnston (talk) 03:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Max Boot was a Silly Columnist for the Daily Californian[edit]

Everyone thought we had our own Onion. Nobody knew he was serious or even a real human being. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Neoconservative label[edit]


Can you explain how the quote by M&W quote violates WP:BLP?


Colombo Man (talk) 18:23, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about it violating BLP, but I would certainly consider it ad hominem and spurious, coming as it did in the middle of a highly controversial piece of dubious credibility (failing, for those who insist on links to wikipolicy, WP:RS). I'm sure Pat Buchanan and Howard Zinn say all sorts of unkind things about people in their books. No need to put those in their biographies, either. RayAYang (talk) 22:38, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
In addition to the comments above, please review WP:BLP "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid paper; it is not our job to be sensationalist". Please also review WP:UNDUE. Jayjg (talk) 01:51, 5 October 2008 (UTC)


Nothing wrong with having a "Criticism" section when dealing with a noted opinion maker. I wonder, however, why this entry's Criticism section deals exclusively with the opinions of one Nikolas Kozloff. I somehow doubt that Mr. Kozloff is an important enough critic to justify his own paragraph of dissent in Mr. Boot's Wikipedia entry. I would think the section should be fleshed-out with criticism from other sources, or removed altogether. Jvward (talk) 23:56, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Especially since Mr. Kozloff is apparently not well-known enough to have his own Wikipedia entry. Jvward (talk) 23:58, 3 January 2009 (UTC)


Historian Nikolas Kozloff, who has a doctorate in [[Latin America]]n history from [[Oxford]], has vocally criticized Boot. Kozloff states that when they both were history majors at [[UC Berkeley]] Boot was "an incendiary right winger" and "a kind of local gadfly". Kozloff also states that Boot presented an essay on [[Otto von Bismarck]], creator of the [[German Empire]], whom Boot "somehow ... admired." Kozloff condemns Boot's support for the [[Phoenix program]] in the [[Vietnam War]] and regards Boot as one of America's "imperialist cheerleaders".<ref name=dog>[ McCain's Mad Dog Advisor Max Boot]. By Nikolas Kozloff. [[CounterPunch]]. Published August 1, 2008. Accessed August 22, 2009.</ref>

I removed this since, as per previous comments, its only source is questionable and I don't think that it meets up with WP:RS. I would consider the dispute notable enough if it was talked about by Boot himself or if it was discussed in a better source. The Squicks (talk) 19:07, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

First off just because you do not like the source is not reason enough to delete the source. These are things Kozloff claimed he saw Boot do while they were at Berkley together. Yes Counterpunch is a magazine with a generally left outlook, but that doesn't mean that you dismiss them just because they have a particulat bias.
Now if Kozloff was just simply criticizing Boot then I would agree that it wasn't relevant to the article because it's rather obvious that someone writing for counterpunch wouldn't like Boot. However in this case Kozloff is relating incidents he claims he expierienced with Boot in college. If someone who worked at the National Review new a prominent liberal journalist in college I would have no objection to posting his claims of what happened when they were both in college together. As long as it's stated as kozloff's opinion and not abosolute fact then I don't see the problem.
I changed the wording slightly from Kozloff "stated" to Kozloff "claims".annoynmous 03:46, 11 Septemebr 2009 (UTC)
It's not because we don't like the source, it's because the source is a comparative nobody, and fails our definition of reliable sources, at that. I wouldn't take a random essay in National Review from a former college classmate of, say, Fareed Zakaria's and reprint that in full on his bio, either. If the criticism became notable, that would be different. Wikipedia is not a place to collect random published criticism of public figures - we have a responsibility to use only reliable sources that are relevant and proportional to the importance of the figure whose life is being described. Kozloff might be hot stuff in the community of leftist journalists writing paeans of praise to Hugo Chavez. On the broader spectrum of serious foreign policy analysts, he's a non-entity. RayTalk 04:43, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

If it was just criticism of Boot I would agree, but he's relaying personal information he says he witnessed in regards to Boot. As long as it's stated as something he claims and not fact than it should be included.
It is not up to you to determine whether or not Kozloff is a nobody or not. He is a specialist on latin america and he's relating specific things he says he saw Boot do in college. The Squicks seemed to be fine with the criticism several months ago when he added it back and said this "This is a perfectly valid criticism". annoynmous 23:13, 11 Septemeber 2009 (UTC)

While I think that Kozloffs comments are perfectly appropriate for the article I've decided it's not worth getting into a long drawn argument over. I seen several articles on wikipedia that have criticisms of certain people from right wing sources that have no prominence whatsoever and If you try to remove them you get a barrage of people defending there inclusion.
I've been in far to many nasty edit wars this year and I frankly don't have the strength for another one. So I'm resigning from this article purely out of exhaustion, not because I don't feel the material should be included. annoynmous 23:32, 11 Septemeber 2009 (UTC)
I love how "The American Conservative" is somehow treated as being more of a reliable source than Counterpunch. But hey, who needs consistency? Captainktainer * Talk 21:20, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I suggested that that was not a terribly reliable source and could be sliced off as well (see Talk:Max Boot/GA1. WP:SOFIXIT applies, I think. I assume with utmost good faith that nobody could possibly be editing here with an ideological agenda. However, should any future editors on this page have less than pure agendas, they might realize that the The American Conservative, far from being a mainstream conservative magazine, is a small anti-Bush isolationist rag founded by Pat Buchanan, which endorsed the Democrats in the 2006 elections. RayTalk 21:25, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
My understanding is that=>
(a) Woods is notable- he even has his own Wiki page- while Kozloff is not notable.
(b) Woods' statements appeared in a written publication while Kozloff's article was online only in what seems like a regular blog of his on their site.
(c) Boot's dispute with Woods is something that is a back-and-fourth, with both sides responding to each other, based on a fight that Boot chose to pick with Woods. I don't think Boot has even heard of Kozloff.
Which is why I made the distinction. But I have no strong feelings here either way. The Squicks (talk) 21:54, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

RfC: What disputes should be included?[edit]

I'd like more outside perspectives on this. We used to have three disputes in the article: with the Counterpunch writer, with historian Woods, and with the 'Israeli Lobby' authors. The first is now gone. Should the others be removed as well? Or should the first be re-added? Personally, I have no strong opinions either way but I can see how this can be iffy. The Squicks (talk) 20:33, 17 September 2009 (UTC)


"Boot also blasted Woods for what he saw as ignoring African-Americans' struggle for civil rights"

What happened to the word "criticised"? Plenty of POV-heavy language like that in the article too. --Brigade Piron (talk) 08:53, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Max Boot/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Someone at the IP for the Council on Foreign Relations, Max Boot's employer, is altering this biography, removing material, and turning it into a press release.

Last edited at 02:58, 24 October 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 23:30, 29 April 2016 (UTC)