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.