Synopses & Reviews
This "important book that should be read by every American" tells an unforgettable father and son story and confronts the legacy of the Vietnam War across two generations (Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran and author of Born on the Fourth of July).
Craig McNamara came of age in the political tumult and upheaval of the late 60s. While Craig McNamara would grow up to take part in anti-war demonstrations, his father, Robert McNamara, served as John F. Kennedy's Secretary of Defense and the architect of the Vietnam War. This searching and revealing memoir offers an intimate picture of one father and son at pivotal periods in American history. Because Our Fathers Lied is more than a family story — it is a story about America.
Before Robert McNamara joined Kennedy's cabinet, he was an executive who helped turn around Ford Motor Company. Known for his tremendous competence and professionalism, McNamara came to symbolize "the best and the brightest." Craig, his youngest child and only son, struggled in his father's shadow. When he ultimately fails his draft board physical, Craig decides to travel by motorcycle across Central and South America, learning more about the art of agriculture and making what he defines as an honest living. By the book's conclusion, Craig McNamara is farming walnuts in Northern California and coming to terms with his father's legacy.
Because Our Fathers Lied tells the story of the war from the perspective of a single, unforgettable American family.
“Walnut farmer McNamara…debuts with a stunning, deeply personal look at his life as the son of the prime shaper of America's Vietnam War policy, secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara….This is a must-read.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"More than a decade after his death, Robert Strange McNamara remains one of the most compelling public figures in United States history. As Kennedy and Johnson's powerful secretary of defense, McNamara helped plunge the country into the disaster of the Vietnam War — and in one way or another struggled during the rest of his long life to explain and redeem himself. Craig McNamara's memoir, Because Our Fathers Lied, is a painfully honest and uncompromising quest to come to grips with his relationship with his father — and to disentangle the complex ties between love and political truth." Mark Danner, author of Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War
"Like the farmer willing to labor another season, searching for one more harvest, Craig McNamara invites us into a rare conversation about history that defines us as he explores loss while caring about the meaning of family - a son's struggle with a father and the shadow of Viet Nam." David Mas Masumoto, organic farmer and author of Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Harvesting Legacies from the Land
"If a father's lethal lie could be redeemed by a son who speaks the heartfelt truth, this book would do it. A poignant, crushing account that closes a circle not only for Craig McNamara, but for his generation." James Carroll, New York Times bestselling author of House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power
About the Author
Craig McNamara is an American businessman and farmer serving as the president and owner of Sierra Orchards, a walnut farm. McNamara is also the founder and president of the Center for Land-Based Learning. He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is the only son of U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. McNamara lives in California with his wife and three children.