In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam

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Vintage Books, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 518 pages
4 Reviews
Written twenty years after the end of the Vietnam War, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's controversial book answers the lingering questions that surround this disastrous episode in American history, in a groundbreaking book that is the definitive insider's account of American policy making in Vietnam. 
"We of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who participated in the decisions on Vietnam acted according to what we thought were the principles and tradtions of this nation," McNamara writes. "We made our decisions in light of those values. Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why."
With unprecedented candor and drawing on a wealth of newly declassified documents, McNamara reveals the fatal misassumptions behind our involvement in Vietnam. Keenly observed and dramatically written, In Retrospect possesses the urgency and poignancy that mark the very best histories--and the unsparing candor that is the trademark of the greatest personal memoirs.
Includes a preface written by McNamara for the paperback edition.
 

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User Review  - carterchristian1 - LibraryThing

An essential resource for history of the U.S. participation in the Vietnam war. McNamara gives candid assessments of Johnson and other American participants. Frequently he lays out a situation then ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cwhouston - LibraryThing

If only more key decision makers on the world stage would make similar literary undertakings. This is RS McNamara's account of his early career and subsequent term as Secretary of Defence under ... Read full review

Contents

january 19 19611ugust23 1963 29
110
August 8 1964_anuary 27 1965
145
The Christmas Bombing Pause
207
The Lessons of Vietnam
318
The Nuclear Risks of the 1960s and Their Lessons for
337
nuclear weapons and a heightened understanding of the risks
343
Mr McNamaras War 353
352
The Abuse of McNamara
374
We Can All Learn from McNamaras Remorse
381
Personae
453
Selected Bibliography of Published Works
486
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Robert S. McNamara was secretary of defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, president of the Ford Motor Company, and president of the World Bank. After leaving the World Bank he was active in economic development efforts across the globe and in the arms control and non-proliferation movements. He died in 2009.

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