The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War

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9780679427612: The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War
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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.

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Review:

This book is another worthy step in the 1000- mile trek of trying to figure out what the Vietnam War meant in human terms. (The richest vein struck in this effort thus far still has to be Gloria Emerson's Winners and Losers.) Hendrickson spent most of a decade putting together the story of the war in the lives of Robert McNamara and five less fancy participants in it--a combat Marine who once was on the cover of Life, an Army nurse, the scion of an upper-crust Vietnamese family, a Quaker who set fire to himself outside McNamara's Pentagon office window in 1965, and an artist who, in 1972, tried to throw McNamara over the side of the Martha's Vineyard ferry. Hendrickson's efforts to generate a sense of his characters interacting on a cosmic stage too often flirt with bathos, but his way with the characters themselves is undeniably powerful.

About the Author:

Paul Hendrickson's book Sons of Mississippi won the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. Since 1998 he has been on the faculty of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania. For two decades before that he was a staff writer at the Washington Post. Among his other books are Looking for the Light: The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott (1992 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War (1996 finalist for the National Book Award). He has been the recipient of writing fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lyndhurst Foundation, and the Alicia Patterson Foundation. In 2009 he was a joint visiting professor of documentary practice at Duke University and of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the father of two grown sons and lives with his wife, Cecilia, outside Philadelphia.

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Book Description Knopf, 1996. Soft cover. Condition: New. 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. Seller Inventory # ABE-1512255834673

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