Robert McNamara

Learning from a great manager's tragedy

Even before Robert S. McNamara left the Pentagon in early 1968, this man of absolute certainties about almost everything had begun to have nagging doubts about the Vietnam War, about what was widely known as "McNamara's war."

He even ordered a study--I was its director--of how the U.S. got involved in Vietnam, to try to explain what had happened. It came to be called the Pentagon Papers. And to show just how puzzling McNamara was, it's not clear that he ever read them. He lived long enough to see how terribly wrong he had been about the war and how much...

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