Robert McNamara's Legacy

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Dr. Bruce Kuklick
Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania


• Author of “Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War From Kennan to Kissinger”

“Robert McNamara was a serious man who wanted to serve his country in an important era, but McNamara was also arrogant and without much political sense, and his technocratic intelligence did not serve him well during the Vietnam era, or even later during his tenure as head of the World Bank. At one time he was known as the most hated man in America. His memoir, ‘In Retrospect,’ in which he both justified and apologized for his role in making the Vietnam war, was both heralded and vilified. Later, a movie about his policy making, ‘The Fog of War,’ cast him again into the limelight during the twilight of his life, and with equally ambiguous results.”