peteg's blog - noise - books - 2007 08 04 McNamara InRetrospect

Robert S. McNamara: In Retrospect

/noise/books | Link

This is a distinctly repetitive, and rather depressing, memoir of Robert S. McNamara's time as U.S. Defence Secretary, a period that is not coextensive with U.S. operations in Vietnam. This was the first of many irritations, the lack of framing; we get a very limited presentation of the Eisenhower Administration's policies and almost no mention is made of McNamara's successors or the French colonisation.

The lasting impression I take away from this book is that the U.S. preferred to spend billions on a war rather than thousands on a few more people who would have given it better advice. I grant that it was a chaotic time, but why not hire more people?

Some further links: