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Release No: 972-06
September 29, 2006

McNamara Volume in the History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Series Published

            The Historical Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense has published “The McNamara Ascendancy, 1961-1965, Volume V” in the “History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Series” and the first of two planned books on the tenure of Secretary Robert S. McNamara. The newest volume follows “The Formative Years (1947-1950),” “The Test of War (1950-1953),” “Strategy, Money, and the New Look (1953-1956),” and “Into the Missile Age (1956-1960),” each an award-winning history focusing on the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the activities of the secretary of defense in the broad context of national security decisionmaking.

            A full-length, scholarly account of the dynamic, often controversial early years of the McNamara era, “The McNamara Ascendancy” examines both pathbreaking institutional changes in the Department of Defense during the Kennedy and early Johnson administrations and the critical international challenges faced by the Pentagon and White House during a pivotal period.  McNamara’s managerial and organizational accomplishments are measured against the handling of crises in Berlin and Cuba and the deepening U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia that by 1965 had begun to overshadow his achievements.

            More than a half-dozen authors and editors worked on the volume, which draws on previously unpublished material and more than four dozen interviews with key participants and contains more than 80 photographs. Copies of “The McNamara Ascendancy” may be ordered from the superintendent of documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402-0001 or over the Internet at http://www.bookstore.gpo.gov .

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