When George W. Bush campaigned for the White House, he was such a novice in foreign policy that he couldn't name the president of Pakistan and momentarily suggested he thought the Taliban was a rock-and-roll band. But he relied upon a group called the Vulcans - an inner circle of advisers with a long, shared experience in government, dating back to the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and first Bush administrations. After returning to power in 2001, the Vulcans were widely expected to restore U.S. foreign policy to what it had been under George H. W. Bush and previous Republican administrations. Instead, the Vulcans put America on an entirely new and different course, adopting a far-reaching set of ideas that changed the world and America's role in it. 'Rise of the Vulcans' is a thirty-five-year history of the top six members of the Vulcans - Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice - and the era of American dominance they represent. It is the story of the lives, ideas and careers of Bush's war cabinet - the group of Washington insiders who took charge of America's response to September 11 and led the nation into its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.