The Living and the Dead by Paul Hendrickson
Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War

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Synopsis

One of the finest books to emerge from the Vietnam experience, The Living and the Dead presents a brilliant study of Robert McNamara, his decision-making during the war, and the way his decisions affected his own life and the lives of five individuals. A monumental work about power, its abuse, and its victims, this meticulously researched, beautifully written, explosive, and passionate book is often in conflict with McNamara's version of events. First serial in the Washington Post. 8 photos.
 

About Paul Hendrickson

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Paul Hendrickson, a prizewinning feature writer for the Washington Post for more than twenty years, now teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Seminary: A Search, Looking for the Light: The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War (a finalist for the National Book Award). He lives with his wife and two sons in Philadelphia. "From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published September 9, 1996 by Knopf. 427 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Ultimately, though, this book will be remembered for its author's uncannily perceptive portrait of a man whose life he calls ``a kind of postwar technocratic hubristic fable.'' Hendrickson doesn't neglect McNamara's courage or intelligence, but he devastatingly catches his weaknesses: arrogance, ...

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Publishers Weekly

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While painting this psychological portrait, this NBA finalist shows the effects of the Vietnam policymaker's decisions on the lives of ordinary people.

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Los Angeles Times

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These two books about the war in Vietnam could hardly be less alike and yet they steer us toward the same awful conclusion: Character is destiny, and grave flaws in character--not merely chance political missteps--doomed America to its misdoings in Southeast Asia.

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People

For Robert McNamara, the Vietnam War never ended.

Oct 14 1996 | Read Full Review of The Living and the Dead: Robe...

Politico

Given the updated release of Steve Mariotti's classic The Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting and Running a Business on Tuesday, we decided......

Feb 20 2013 | Read Full Review of The Living and the Dead: Robe...

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