The story of a young man coming to terms with his father’s criminal legacy and forging his own path to peace.
BECAUSE OUR FATHERS LIED: A Memoir of Truth and Family from Vietnam to Today by Craig McNamara Little, Brown, May 2022 (via Sterling Lord Literistic)
Craig McNamara is “the son of the war’s architect,” Robert McNamara, who served as John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense and was responsible for the continuation of the Vietnam War. This memoir reflects on Craig’s adolescent struggles to discern right from wrong amidst a flurry of political escalation from his own father and anti-war sentiments from his peers, and eventually, what led him to embark on a lifelong journey of anti-war protest. It is an intimate picture of one father and son at pivotal periods in American history. 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 the pleasures of 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.
Craig McNamara is an American businessman and farmer serving as the president and owner of Sierra Orchards, a diversified farming operation producing primarily organic walnuts. McNamara is also the founder and president of the Center for Land-Based Learning. He is the only son of three children of the former United States Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. He graduated from UC Davis in 1976 with a degree in plant and soil science, and lives in Winters, California with his wife and three children.
“This biography is sure to set off new discussions about the role and motives of the conspirators of July 20, 1944”− Deutsche Presse-Agentur
STAUFFENBERG Porträt eines Attentäters (Portrait of an Assassin) by Thomas Karlauf Siedler, March 2019
Who was Claus von Stauffenberg? The figure of the army officer who, at midday of July 20, 1944, set off the bomb that was meant to kill Hitler, has always been a hazy one in literature. We know the long path of the opposition that finally led to the attempted assassination, but even today we have no convincing picture of the assassin’s personality. Because we usually make our judgements according to moral criteria, we generally find it difficult to assess military resistance. This new Stauffenberg biography is based on the latest research, takes hitherto unknown sources into account and is an attempt to reconstruct the assassin’s world of ideas. The standards influencing his thoughts and deeds were compatible for him with Hitler’s policies for a long time. It was not until the summer of 1942 that he began to have second thoughts and place an officer’s political responsibility over and above duty and discipline. When two years later he took action he felt let down by most of his fellow conspirators. In any other European country, a monument would have been erected only days after the end of the war to someone who had tried to kill Hitler. Thomas Karlauf’s latest book demonstrates why Germans are still finding it difficult to come to terms with the heritage of Claus von Stauffenberg, even 75 years after the assassination attempt.
Thomas Karlaufwas born in Frankfurt/Main in 1955, went to Amsterdam after graduating from high school and worked for the « Castrum Peregrini » Stefan George journal for ten years. He was an editor at Siedler and Rowohlt from 1984 until 1996, and since then has been running a writers’ agency in Berlin. 2007 saw the publication of his highly acclaimed biography: “Stefan George – The Invention of Charisma”.