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Promise and power : the life and times of Robert McNamara

Author: Deborah Shapley
Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Promise and Power: The Life and Times of Robert McNamara is the first major biography, and only complete history, of this enigmatic man who has been a towering figure of the twentieth century. Here is the dramatic story of a brilliant but flawed leader who struggled endlessly to reconcile his Berkeley-bred social conscience with his raw drive for power. From his position as the wunderkind president of the Ford Motor  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Biographies
Named Person: Robert S McNamara; Robert S McNamara; Robert S McNamara; McNamara, Robert S. <1916->; Robert S McNamara
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Deborah Shapley
ISBN: 0316782807 9780316782807
OCLC Number: 25832904
Description: xvii, 734 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: Coming to power --
The helper of the largest number --
The student of control --
The legend of control --
Organization man and mole --
The promise --
Sons of morning --
Power in the pentagon --
Cold warrior stepping up --
Statisticain against communism --
The uses of power --
Battling chaos --
Untying the knot --
Controller of technology --
Dawn and darkness --
Crisis manager challenged --
The test --
Test of a new leader --
The choice of war --
Intervention and promise --
Two enormous miscalculations --
Utopia postponed --
Hawk and dove --
The modern public servant --
The world --
"McNamara Yanqui" --
The promise of development --
Management is the gate --
The world takes its price --
An american journey
Responsibility: by Deborah Shapley.

Abstract:

Promise and Power: The Life and Times of Robert McNamara is the first major biography, and only complete history, of this enigmatic man who has been a towering figure of the twentieth century. Here is the dramatic story of a brilliant but flawed leader who struggled endlessly to reconcile his Berkeley-bred social conscience with his raw drive for power. From his position as the wunderkind president of the Ford Motor Company, to his reign as secretary of defense during the Vietnam War, through his efforts as the president of the World Bank, Deborah Shapley paints an electric portrait of Robert Strange McNamara. To a generation of Americans, the name McNamara spells a nightmare in jungle green: Vietnam. Promise and Power traces how McNamara shaped the American commitment in Vietnam - and his devastating inner realization of his error. McNamara has remained silent on the war since February 1968, when he stepped down as America's secretary of defense, but in this book, for the first time, he admits, "The greatest failure of all was Vietnam." Promise and Power shows, as no other book has, how the moral ambiguity all Americans feel about Vietnam's shocking result is shared by the man who led them there. But McNamara's life story spans a wider swath of our history. Shapley describes his roots in the generation of Americans who came of age in the 1930s, his upbringing in the plain town of Oakland, California, and formative years at the liberal Berkeley campus and Harvard Business School. After World War II, talent and raw ambition pushed him to the top of Ford; he became president in 1960 and reshaped the organization. Yet he fought the company's values, too, and drew up plans to change Ford to meet foreign competition - revealed here for the first time. McNamara's fame as a captain of industry who also read Teilhard de Chardin spurred President-elect John F. Kennedy to name him secretary of defense. With Camelot-inspired activism, McNamara used management controls to revolutionize the American military, revealing the driven man whom the press dubbed "I've-Got-All-the-Answers McNamara." Promise and Power is the first profile of how McNamara was changed by failure and by the discovery all Americans made in the 1970s of the strength and power of the Third World. As president of the World Bank, McNamara marched through slums and shantytowns, holding out the promise of effective aid. He either saved the Third World or lost it, depending, of course, on which government's or banker's view is believed. Promise and Power, featuring exclusive interviews with the subject himself and four hundred other participants, and meticulous research, explores the effects of war and remembrance on this complex figure. Robert McNamara, the private individual and the public technocrat, stands before us, in light and shadow, as a remarkable man whose own promise and power changed America, and the world.

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Linked Data


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