There is, as with most cliches, at the center of this one a kernel of truth. On 8 march 1964, mcnamara visited south vietnam to report to. Mcnamara, in full robert strange mcnamara, born june 9, 1916, san francisco, california, u. After being an executive at ford motor company, mcnamara served as defense secretary from 1961 to 1968, during the vietnam war under presidents john f.
Robert strange mcnamara june 9, 1916 july 6, 2009 was an american business executive and the eighth united states secretary of defense, serving from 1961 to 1968 under presidents john f. In it, mcnamara stated that he had sought to get the united states to withdraw from vietnam beginning. The book deals with his life and career as a public servant, focusing on his role as the secretary of defense from 1961 to 1968 during the johnson and kennedy administrations. Mcnamara, in turn revered and reviled, may yet be redeemed as an icon of management. As much as any other individual, secretary of defense robert s. How robert mcnamara came to regret the war he escalated. Oct 14, 2017 on this day in 1966, defense secretary robert mcnamara sent a topsecret memorandum to president lyndon b. Mcnamaras controversial book tells the inside and personal story of. Dereliction of duty covers the story in strong narrative fashion, focusing on a fascinating cast of characters. He is best known for helping lead the united states into the vietnam war. He was the cando man in the cando society in the cando era, david halberstam wrote in the best and the brightest, and during the kennedy and early johnson years, he managed americas expanding involvement almost as if he were a desk officer.
Defense secretary robert mcnamara had a plan to get them. The death toll climbed, the protests grew louder, and alongside johnson and later richard m. Johnson expressing his disillusionment with the war effort in vietnam. The tragedy and lessons of vietnam, published by times books.
It will first take a brief look at this books purpose, main ideas and. A key adviser to the president during the cuban missile crisis, mcnamara is most famousor infamoustoday as the prime architect of the disastrous american intervention in the vietnam war. The list, set out in barely two pages toward the end of the book, is broadly. The vietnam center and sam johnson vietnam archive.
Mcnamara is a 2003 american documentary film about the life and times of former u. Mcnamara, once a champion of the escalation of the vietnam war, says in a memoir to be published in the coming week that he has now concluded that the united states could and should have withdrawn from south vietnam in late 1963 after the assassination of president ngo dinh diem or a year or so later. The life and times of robert mcnamara, the former secretary of defense emerges as a man who, despite decades of public service, is unable to out the damned spot of vietnam. Jfk tapes hes a goddmn liar robert mcnamara youtube. Mcnamara stresses in his book that the sources of all us failures in vietnam were. Jul 07, 2009 driven, cerebral and pugnacious, robert s. Known as the architect of the war in vietnam, robert mcnamara also. He also stated later that his support of the war was given out of loyalty to administration policy. This book gives mcnamaras, views on war and peace in the nuclear age based on his experience as secretary of defense from 1961 to 1968 under presidents kennedy and johnson and his service as a staff officer to general curtis lemay during wwii. The definitive insiders account of american policy making in vietnam.
President lyndon johnson, robert mcnamara, general maxwell taylor, mcgeorge bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the joint chiefs of staff, the u. Mcnamaras controversial book tells the inside and personal story of americas descent into vietnam from a unique point of view, and is one of the most enlightening books about government ever written. But toward the end of his life, former defense secretary robert mcnamara issued a string of candid mea culpas for misjudgments about vietnam that were made during his 196168 tenure at the pentagon, especially his delay in acting on growing doubts that the war could be won. Mcnamara, once a champion of the escalation of the vietnam war, says in a memoir to be published in the coming week that he has now concluded that the united states could and should. Mcnamara no longer believed in the vietnam war came not from anything he said publicly, but. Robert mcnamara simple english wikipedia, the free.
In a 1995 interview with terry gross, mcnamara reflects on vietnam and admits his serious doubts about. The tragedy and lessons of vietnam and millions of other books are available for instant access. Robert mcnamara believes that american leaders acted out of honorable principles, as he argued in his 1995 book, in retrospect. Mcmaster, at the time a major in the united states army he subsequently became national security advisor in 2017 after having risen in rank to lieutenant general. The use of lowiq troops in the vietnam war infinity publishing, 2015. Smart news keeping you current how robert mcnamara came to regret the war he escalated the architect of the vietnam war never formally apologized, but struggled with its consequences for the. The book deals with his life and career as a public servant, focusing on his role as the secretary of defense from 1961 to 1968.
Mcnamara illustrating his observations of the nature of modern warfare. Washington, april 9 former defense secretary robert mcnamara, who argued successfully to escalate american involvement in the vietnam war, now says in a new book that both the kennedy and. Mcnamara recalls, and regrets, vietnam the new york times. Mcnamara, characteristically statistical, points to 11 major causes for our disaster in vietnam in a chapter called the lessons of vietnam. Lyndon johnson, robert mcnamara, the joint chiefs of staff, and the lies that led to vietnam is a 1997 book written by h. Robert strange mcnamara june 9, 1916 july 6, 2009 was an american business executive and former united states secretary of defense. Unwilling to fill the ranks through politically risky policies such as drafting college students or deploying large numbers of.
Apr 16, 1995 mcnamara, characteristically statistical, points to 11 major causes for our disaster in vietnam in a chapter called the lessons of vietnam. Mcnamaras book on the vietnam was should have mentioned that excerpts appear in this weeks issue of newsweek. At various times in its history, the us military has recruited people who measured below specific mental and medical standards. The film was directed by errol morris and features an original score by philip glass. Robert mcnamara and five lives of a lost war, published by alfred a. Jul 06, 2009 mcnamara s legacy mired in vietnam debacle despite robert mcnamara s efforts to rehabilitate his legacy in later life, none could have erased or even much eased what is destined to be historys. The documentary about robert mcnamaras views, expressed in this book. Kennedy administration of 19611963, robert mcnamara had important influence on the early escalation in. The book deals with his life and career as a public servant, focusing on his.
On this day in 1966, defense secretary robert mcnamara sent a topsecret memorandum to president lyndon b. Mcnamara, the cerebral secretary of defense who was vilified for prosecuting americas most controversial war and then devoted himself to helping the worlds poorest. Written twenty years after the end of the vietnam war, former secretary of defense robert mcnamaras controversial memoir answers the lingering questions that surround this disastrous episode in american history. Signin to download and listen to this audiobook today. Get this book free when you sign up for a 30day trial. Defense book takes a deeper look at robert mcnamara the. Former defense secretary robert mcnamara died monday. Mcnamara was an american business executive and the eighth u. This is what robert mcnamara does in this brave, honest, honorable, and altogether compelling book. His policies changed the way that the military operated and also shaped the strategy of the vietnam war. Nixon, mcnamara came to represent the war in peoples minds. During kennedys administration, mcnamara supported the presidents decision to increase american involvement in vietnam. Mcnamaras controversial book tells the inside and personal. Robert mcnamara, by noam chomsky excerpted from class.
Nov 29, 2016 smart news keeping you current how robert mcnamara came to regret the war he escalated the architect of the vietnam war never formally apologized, but struggled with its consequences for the. Mcnamaras legacy mired in vietnam debacle despite robert mcnamaras efforts to rehabilitate his legacy in later life, none could have erased or even much eased what is. Even more than mcnamara, draper misrepresents how we went to war with north vietnam. Aug 25, 2017 a telephone conversation between president kennedy and secretary mcnamara. Mcnamara, once a champion of the escalation of the vietnam war, says in a memoir to be published in the coming week that he has now. Mcnamaras book reminds us that they even repeated the litany in memos to their presidents, to inoculate them against any temptation to retreat from vietnam. Mcnamara personified the american commitment in vietnam.
Robert mcnamaras laudable goal, to put the past behind us, will only be achieved by understanding history, not by rewriting it. The wrong kind of loyalty mcnamaras apology for vietnam. During the vietnam war, mcnamaras morons as they were called, were barely literate, or could not read or write, or did not speak english. His career was a journey toward managerial wisdom and mirrors the very evolution of management as a. High government leaders arent generally known for flaunting their errors. At mcnamaras urging, americas involvement in vietnam grew from thousands of american soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines to almost half a million. In a 1995 interview with terry gross, mcnamara reflects on vietnam and admits his serious doubts about us policy and the decisionmaking that. Mcnamara, and thus inevitably called mcnamaras 100,000, the project was a way to meet the manpower demands of an escalating war. Jul 06, 2009 former defense secretary robert mcnamara died monday. As a history of the vietnam war, robert mcnamaras memoir is bound to disappoint. Mcnamaras folly is heartbreaking to read, but it tells a story that most americans have never heard and that should be remembered far more widely than it is. May 02, 2014 robert strange mcnamara june 9, 1916 july 6, 2009 was an american business executive and the eighth secretary of defense. Robert mcnamara simple english wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A telephone conversation between president kennedy and secretary mcnamara.376 843 265 279 154 853 28 975 24 46 568 976 378 845 695 497 975 1164 73 280 408 42 1128 1253 1511 317 380 977 251 1455 982 1027 906 1062 162 1357 525