'I Made Mistakes'

'I Made Mistakes' : Robert McNamara's Vietnam War Policy, 1960-1968

3.6 (5 ratings by Goodreads)

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 10-13 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


Speaking to an advisor in 1966 about America's escalation of forces in Vietnam, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara confessed: 'We've made mistakes in Vietnam ... I've made mistakes. But the mistakes I made are not the ones they say I made'. In 'I Made Mistakes', Aurelie Basha i Novosejt provides a fresh and controversial examination of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara's decisions during the Vietnam War. Although McNamara is remembered as the architect of the Vietnam War, Novosejt draws on new sources - including the diaries of his advisor and confidant John T. McNaughton - to reveal a man who resisted the war more than most. As Secretary of Defense, he did not want the costs of the war associated with a new international commitment in Vietnam, but he sacrificed these misgivings to instead become the public face of the war out of a sense of loyalty to the President.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 338 pages
  • 158 x 235 x 23mm | 620g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises; 16 Halftones, black and white
  • 1108415539
  • 9781108415538

Table of contents

List of figures; Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. The history of the OSD, 1947-1961; 2. Civilian control; 3. Continuity and change; 4. Taking charge of Vietnam policy; 5. When military problems become economic problems; 6. The fall of 1963; 7. McNamara's transition into the Johnson administration; 8. Decisions, indecisions, visions and revisions; 9. McNamara in crisis, 1966-1968; Conclusion; Appendix 1: Cast of characters; Bibliography; Index.
show more

Review quote

'Basha's careful account of McNamara's Vietnam policies is a terrible indictment not just of the policies but of McNamara's moral failure in prizing loyalty over lives. How he defined his job dictated his failures. Recommended reading for all future defense secretaries.' Kori Schake, Deputy Director-General, The International Institute for Strategic Studies 'I didn't think there could be much more to say about Robert McNamara and the escalation of America's war in Vietnam, but Aurelie Basha i Novosejt has proven otherwise. In this boldly original book, she forces us to revisit basic assumptions about an important but enigmatic figure. By showing that economic concerns were paramount, by considering counterinsurgency from a different angle, and by emphasizing previously neglected institutional changes within the Pentagon, Basha is able to shed new light on the subject. But even more, by revealing that McNamara opposed the war at its very beginning, even as he was planning its expansion, Basha is able to reveal the ultimate price of loyalty.' Andrew Preston, University of Cambridge '... [a] fine book ...' Dan Hart, H-War
show more

About Aurelie Basha i Novosejt

Aurelie Basha i Novosejt is a Lecturer in American History at the University of Kent, Canterbury.
show more

Rating details

5 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 60% (3)
3 40% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X