BOOKS: THE MAN WE LOVE TO HATE

ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO FIGURE OUT ROBERT MCNAMARA

Robert S. McNamara's blinkered 1995 memoir, In Retrospect, did little to change its author's image as an American Faust who sold his soul to a demon technocracy. The former Secretary of Defense is not likely to have a good 1996 either.

Paul Hendrickson's The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War (Knopf; 427 pages; $30) portrays the chief operating officer of the Vietnam buildup as a "tragically split man." Central to this view are McNamara's unsatisfactory answers to questions that have dogged him since he left the Pentagon on Feb. 19, 1968: Why did he...

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