Summer of Exits continues…
The march of death goes on and on and on now with Robert McNamara passing at age 93. McNamara was the defense secretary during John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He was for all intents and purposes the guy who got us embroiled in Vietnam, and he was a calculated thinker who was probably vilified as much if not more than any Dick Cheney or Rumsfeld in his time. Still his later years proved him more interesting than evil (perhaps the latter will prove the same? Probably not…) and he was the subject of Errol Morris’s 2004 documentary The Fog of War. Casey and I caught a screening of the film while we were at Berkeley, with a Q&A with Morris and the man himself afterward. He must have been 88 or 87 at that point; he was still as sharp as ever. I recall him doing some grossly complicated computation in his head on stage, something like calculating the rate of inflation on the GDP from 1965 to figures meaningful in 2004. I’ve been reading a good obit on him on the NY Times site.