The Administration: O Positive

It started as a standard McNamara-style speech: loaded with projections, statistics, computerized comparisons. But as the Secretary of Defense plunged deeper into his oration, the 600 members of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, meeting in Montreal, began to realize that this was a different speech by a different Robert Strange McNamara. Its message not only had little to do with military hardware, but, even more surprising, was fundamentally concerned with the suffering majority of mankind—a subject that has not conspicuously engaged the Secretary's attention or exactly matched his image during his five years at the Pentagon.

First, McNamara startled his...

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