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Interview with Craig McNamara

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Transcription

McKiernan Interviews
Interview with: Craig McNamara
Interviewed by: Stephen McKiernan
Transcriber: REV
Date of interview: 30 September 2010
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(Start of Interview)

CM (00:00:03):
Testing one two.

SM (00:00:06):
Tape recorders. And of course, a lot of this is going to be about you, but it is also a lot on your dad too. You okay now?

CM (00:00:15):
I am ready to go.

SM (00:00:16):
How did you become who you are with respect to talking about your growing up years before you went off to college? What was it like going to high school and those early influences? And of course, you can talk about your dad and mom at this time too.

CM (00:00:34):
Are we focusing a little bit at the end of middle school and on the high school or high school?

SM (00:00:40):
Basically high school.

CM (00:00:44):
My high school was a continuation of Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC, which for me was a remarkable experience because I came from Ann Arbor, Michigan as a 10-year-old and went through the elementary school at Sidwell Friends. I came into the school system with a reading problem, with significant dyslexia problems that at that age, at that time was not really well known. It was a large kind of umbrella that covered many different parts of that learning disorder. So it was a lot of work for me. Getting to high school was a dynamic challenge. Sidwell Friends really did a remarkable job in assisting me and creating an environment that was very supportive. In ninth grade with all the excitement of sport and education and co-education, I was really in tune, and a good friend of mine had left Sidwell Friends at the end of eighth grade. And I said, "Well, where did you go, Frank?" He said, "Well, I went to this place called St. Paul's School." And what I did not realize was that he was prepared for this by his father and probably grandfather and it was the family tradition. He said, "You got to try this. You got to try this." I said, "Well, what is this?" He said, "Well, it is a prep school." I said, "I am really happy here at Sidwell Friends. Got all my friends and sports. He said, "No-no, you got to try it." So, I left Sidwell at the end of ninth grade and went to St. Paul's in Concord, New Hampshire for the remaining years of high school. It was a definite road not taken for me ever before. It was a very divergent road in my upbringing. My mom and dad had always raised us with a real foundation, I think, of social justice, of appreciation for, I am going to say the common good, the common man, for society. I did not know what I was getting into in this interesting environment that St. Paul's School provided. It was an incredibly challenging academic environment, especially for me. And it was an environment that, to be quite honest myself, I was under-prepared for and overwhelmed by. So what one normally does is learn how to compensate. My compensation was through my communication with people and my endeavors on the athletic field. So those were the areas that I really excelled in and had a very, very difficult time struggling academically there.

SM (00:04:00):
What years were you there?

CM (00:04:02):
Now that is a good question. I think that I began that school in 1965.

SM (00:04:06):
Okay.

CM (00:04:06):
And I move with the years. I was born in (19)50, so in (19)65 I would have been 15 and I graduated from St. Paul's in 1969.

SM (00:04:25):
What was it like growing up as your home base? Because your dad was working for President Kennedy and while your father was Secretary of Defense from (19)61 to (19)67 before he headed off to the World Bank, what was it like? In all these roles that he played, did you feel there was any pressure that your dad was a very... They called him one of the best and the brightest as David Halberstam had written in his book. Did you ever feel that when you had that visible a person as your dad who was very accomplished, that you could not meet his standards and you were trying to, or did you just want to get away to find your own identity?

CM (00:05:18):
You have covered a broad brush of ideas with the suggestions there, so let us look at them one by one. Pressures that a son feels from his father or a child feels from their parents, there cannot be anything more traditional than that. And so yes, of course I really have felt that throughout my life and it is a wonderful realization at certain times in your life when you realize you can appreciate what your parents have done, appreciate the leadership that they have provided in this case to their country, to their families, to their children. But yes, I felt a tremendous struggle that at times I was age-appropriately unaware of. But let me just go back to the first feelings of moving to Washington, DC. You have got to understand, I was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but my whole connection was with nature from riding bikes to making dammed creeks to building tree houses to being out all day long with my mom whistling the special family whistle to let me know that dinner was ready. My life in the (19)50s and early (19)60s was one of edible connection with this dynamic force which ultimately has changed my life, which is nature and food system. So, coming me to Washington, DC was, I was an excited kid. I was 10 years old and slammed a little bit with this learning issue, but I took that instead and my mom worked night and day literally with me. I can remember both of us kind of weeping together over my inability to do homework, but we just kind of did it. But then there was the other side of Washington, which was the new frontier, the Camelot, the excitement of this incredible young president, family, and cabinet. They were called to serve. The cabinet members and their families were called to serve. I have fond memories of things that today are magical. They truly are magic moments that reflect back to your book, that I knew they were special, but I did not know how special they were. Joining President Kennedy at Camp David. Remembering being in the living room study of what seemed like a log cabin. It was a very understated building that the president at that time lived in at Camp David, and seeing him at ease in his rocking chair. Seeing him with his family. I remember attending in the White House, the first showing of PT 109.

SM (00:08:32):
Oh my gosh, Cliff Robertson.

CM (00:08:36):
Sitting on the floor and the president was on I think a chaise or some sort of, me being together with all of the Robert Kennedy family and president's family. It was an easy, wonderful relationship. And taking off from the White House Rose Garden or wherever the helicopters take off from as an 11 or 12-year-old, it was so impressionable, but it was part of life's fabric. I am trying to describe this incredible feeling. I am putting my two hands together because on one hand it was reality and another hand it was far removed from anything that I will ever live again.

SM (00:09:39):
What is interesting, and I can remember reading your dad's book in retrospect, in the sections where he talks about the family, which he did quite often throughout the book, and he mentioned the University of Michigan that you talked about and he wanted to live in a university environment and not in some rich suburb.

CM (00:09:57):
Yeah.

SM (00:09:57):
I thought that was, he really had his head on his shoulders and obviously it was probably very impressionable and important for him with respect to his family. And that is where you got your love for nature.

CM (00:10:08):
It really did. And it's teased out throughout our lives in the sense that in one respect, my dad must have been the first commuter, because Ann Arbor from Dearborn where he worked, I do not know in that day and age how many minutes it was, maybe 45 or 50 or an hour. And so he made that decision to have the intellectual capacity of living in a university town and back to my image here of nature, of living in an area that was not hyper economically oriented. And he would drive home the new models, whether it was the T-Bird or eventually the Edsel or whatever.

SM (00:10:57):
He drove an Edsel home, huh?

CM (00:11:00):
Whatever the new models was and would test drive them. And the other thing that my dad and mom always emphasized was a time for us as a family to be together, and typically being that he truly was a workaholic, it would be on a vacation in the Sierra Mountains because mom and dad grew up in the Bay Area of California and the Sierras were so important to them and to their generation. We would, as a family... Actually part of the family. Dad would be working in Michigan. Mom and my two sisters and I would head out in the summertime in the old station wagon and drive to the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada up with their college friends and families, and we would launch a two-week trip, initially pack trip with mules in into the Sierras. These were the most wonderful experiences of my life.

SM (00:12:10):
Wow.

CM (00:12:11):
Campfires and was skating off a snowbank into a crystal clear lake and catching fish. My mom was a tremendous fisherwoman and taught me how to fish and [inaudible] fish.

SM (00:12:32):
She was quite accomplished too.

CM (00:12:34):
She was a remarkable fisherwoman.

SM (00:12:37):
Reading about her and her background. And she passed away in (19)81, I believe?

CM (00:12:42):
She did. She had mesothelioma cancer around the pleura her lungs. It was told to us that she would have an 11-month life and she lived 11 months. But she was one of the greatest sources of inspiration, I think, to my father. She was the greatest source of love and inspiration for me and our family. Just an absolutely down to earth, remarkable human being.

SM (00:13:15):
She was involved with an organization called Reading is Fundamental. I think your sister has been somewhat linked to that too.

CM (00:13:21):
Yeah.

SM (00:13:22):
But it is a nonprofit children's literacy organization. Was that based on the fact of your experiences with her as a young child?

CM (00:13:30):
I think it was three. Certainly it was the experience that she and I shared of how difficult it is for some children. Secondly, coming to the nation's capital and realizing that the literacy rate was so poor and that that was wrong. And thirdly, as my dad felt the story when meeting with President Kennedy said, "Okay," when he brought the cabinet wives together, "Your husbands are going to be under a tremendous amount of pressure and work and I want you to do something meaningful for yourselves and for society." So, it was kind of those three or four things. And I am so proud of my mom. She started this program, Reading is Fundamental, out of a mobile unit, bookmobile that would go around to schools and have school children come on board and pick out a free book, start a library in families where there were no books at home, and that has grown into a global network. It is remarkable.

SM (00:14:37):
Is your sister linked to that in some way?
C
M (00:14:40):
My older sister Margie is on the board of RIF.

SM (00:14:43):
Okay, very good.

CM (00:14:44):
Yeah.

SM (00:14:45):
And I guess President Carter awarded her the Medal of Freedom too.

CM (00:14:48):
He did, which was an outstanding recognition of my mom's dedication to society.

SM (00:15:04):
Getting back to that time when your dad was Secretary of Defense, what memories do you have, wherever you were location-wise, about the people that David Halberstam often describes in his book, The Best and the Brightest? Your dad was part of this group. What are your memories when, and I have got about seven or eight things here that were pretty big during your dad's reign as Secretary of Defense. The inaugural speech of John Kennedy. Where were you and how did that speech influence you in any way?

CM (00:15:40):
Oh, I am so glad that you have brought that up and reminded me of that. That whole experience began for me when dad came home from work one day and said, "Well, what would you think of moving to Washington, DC?" Now, I was 10 years old and I said, "Well Dad, do not worry about that because we are not going to do that. I have got my friends here, we have got the tree house, we have got all of what we so enjoy." And he said, "Well, I have been asked by the president comment to be a part of his cabinet." And the rest of that story is history. Obviously, he went out and I did not. But I do remember my mom and dad had gone to Washington in preparation for the inaugural and my older sisters and I were to fly out to be part of the day that you are mentioning here. It was an icy winter ice storm as I recall, and I was the one in charge of the alarm clock to wake up my sisters. Now remember, they are teenagers and I am 10 years old and I was worried that if I were to wake them up, they're going to get really angry with me for waking them up. So I think we were a little late getting to the airport. Got to Washington, picked up by a limo. Now, this is something I had never even dreamed of, seen one, or certainly had never ridden in. This was very exciting, and I recall being in the audience, looking up at the President, looking up at the cabinet behind him on the Capitol steps, watching Robert Cross and just...

SM (00:17:26):
Wow.

CM (00:17:27):
... being in the palm of something, of God's hands in a very, very special way.

SM (00:17:35):
Wow.

CM (00:17:35):
And then the day, I do not remember how it totally unfolded, but I do remember in the reviewing stand in front of the White House, whatever that was in 1960. I am sure it was very different then than it is today. And I think by that time it was a chilly day, very chilly but the sun shone as I recall. And I remember the cabinet coming past in their cars that were convertibles, I think, open top, and I remember my mom and dad in their car and dad had a... Remind me the name of the hat, the stovepipe hat?

SM (00:18:18):
Oh, Abraham Lincoln stovepipe?

CM (00:18:19):
Abraham Lincoln. And I recall shouting out to my dad, "Dad, you look really great out there." And then they went on. I am looking at my office wall right now because I am looking at a picture of them at one of the inaugural balls that they attended.

SM (00:18:41):
Wow.

CM (00:18:42):
And my dad in a tux and my mom and a ball gown with her gloves and everything. Quite a remarkable...

SM (00:18:53):
Yeah, I think President Kennedy, there is pictures of him wearing that kind of a hat too.

CM (00:18:56):
Oh absolutely.

SM (00:18:57):
Yeah. And of course that was a very cold day. You remember the president was speaking, you see the breath when he was speaking. But it was a great speech. I remember it was a cold day.

CM (00:19:11):
Can you hold one second?

SM (00:19:12):
Yes.

CM (00:19:24):
[speaking Spanish] I work for Harvest, so I get lots of men coming by looking for work.

SM (00:19:35):
A couple of the other events, and you will remember maybe dad talking about it at the table or conversing. The Bay Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, because those are two very big events.

CM (00:19:47):
They are indeed. My memories of those, this wrapped into a much larger part of my life. And that is that, as you can imagine from my earlier comments, dad kept his work very separate from my life. And actually, throughout our lives, because we are talking kind of early right now, 12, 13, 14, but as I became a late teenager and all the way through my life, it was something that dad just chose not to share, not to talk about, not to engage me in. I think it was painful. I think he was trying to be protective. Was it right or wrong on his part? I do not think I can apply that sort of a rationale. Did it ultimately help me? No, it did not. But to get back to specifically your question about the Cuban Missile Crisis, I do recall that much more fervently than The Bay of Pigs. Dad would come home from work, say eight o'clock for dinner. He always sat on the same part of the couch. He would always have his hand on the coffee table to the left where the lamp was. He would typically be reading the paper. And in his hand on the coffee table was this beautiful walnut plaque. And there is some imagery here because I am a walnut grower today. This is a walnut plaque that probably measured four inches by four inches, and on top of the plaque was the most beautiful silver calendar, just a little piece of silver with the month of October, 1962, with the critical dates of the Cuban missile crisis embedded deeper in the silver calendar. And I remember my dad just kind of, his hand would be on that and it was as if it was braille, if the digits of his finger were rereading, re-recognizing the potential devastation of our world, had the United States launched their weapon.

SM (00:22:28):
Wow.

CM (00:22:28):
I have that memory emblazoned in my mind. That stayed with us forever.

SM (00:22:40):
Now that was a scary moment as we all watched President Kennedy on TV that night. And of course we all remember Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. "I am going to wait for your reply until hell freezes over." I will never forget it. I am only a little older than you. A few more here. The Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, obviously in 1964. A lot has been written about that. Your thoughts on that, as well as the protests on college campuses that went throughout the time that he was Secretary of Defense. And of course the big one, there were two at the Pentagon and then the one in 1967 where they levitated, supposedly, the Pentagon. And in the 1965 one, which I am going to come back to later, where the man burned himself to death, just anything really linking to Vietnam.

CM (00:23:42):
Well, let me remind us that I was 14. 1964 [inaudible] maybe 14-year-olds today are a little more worldly and they are global understanding than I was. So those memories are more in retrospect. My reflections on those as I awaken to... My personal awakening occurred closer to 1966, (19)67 I was going to say. There again, I was in Concord, New Hampshire at St. Paul's School and one of my dear friends who was going to be the president of the school had created a teach-in about Vietnam. Now think of this. This is high school, so he was 17. This is Rick King. And he had invited professors, I believe, from the Boston area and maybe from Dartmouth to speak. And I said, "Well, now, wait a minute, Rick." At that point I still said, "There must be a reason that we are in Vietnam." And I remember standing in a phone booth. We do not have phone booths anymore, but I was standing in a phone booth from school and talking with dad. "Dad, there's going to be a teach-in. Is there any material that you can send me to justify the war in Vietnam?" And it just occurred while I am speaking with on the phone why it was that no materials arrived. I think at that point I realized there was no justification for us to be there. It did not dawn on me then, but the materials never arrived. The teach-in occurred, and that was a rite of passage for me. And I remember later on being 19, being in social events in Washington, DC in backyards with friends with houses in Georgetown and the decision-makers. I will put them in one category, decision-makers. My father and other decision-makers saying, "Well, you know, you just have not read enough about this issue. You do not really know what you're talking about." And yet we knew very intuitively and from our small world exposure that the Vietnam War was not [inaudible]

SM (00:26:27):
Yeah, I interviewed Dr. Henry Graff, the former professor at Columbia University, on Monday and he did the Tuesday cabinet book, the Tuesday cabinet meetings where your dad and top people on foreign policy would meet with President Johnson every Tuesday.

CM (00:26:46):
Yes.

SM (00:26:46):
And he had chances to talk to your dad four times, and he talked to him just before he was leaving in (19)67 as well. Johnson gave him full access to the cabinet, and what is interesting is when I talked to him about the gatherings of these people is that it was known early on that McGeorge Bundy, even in his book says he was against the war from the get-go way back in (19)64. And I know that Bill Moyers was against the war himself and he was only there for three years working with President Johnson. And then your dad had misgivings about the war for a long time. And I asked Dr. Graff, here you have Secretary of Defense McNamara. McGeorge Bundy was the special assistant, I forget his full title. And you had his press secretary, Bill Moyers, against the war, yet President Johnson kept going on. And Dr. Graff said, "Well, you have to understand, these men kept their differences behind closed doors and they showed that they were loyal. And that is the kind of people that President Johnson wanted around him."

CM (00:28:01):
Well, that is such an important point that you have brought up, loyalty, because it is something that my dad always referred to. I would ask him on those rare occasions that, particularly after the fact when he was at the World Bank and finally came out with his book, Retrospect. "Dad, why could not you have addressed it? Why could not you have spared yourself and our nation so much anguish, sorrow, and grief?" And he said several things. One is that he was an appointed cabinet minister, that he was not elected. Felt that it was his duty and his loyalty to serve the president in the best capacity that he could. And then I think that there is an evolution in people's thought processes and lives that allow them to come to grace and come to some sort of understanding, and thank God he did. I mean, I do not know many other people in his situation who have publicly and privately said, "I made a mistake and I would like us, I would like myself to learn from this mistake and maybe history can use these lessons that Earl Morris so accurately developed in Fog of War." Which by the way, I think every high school...

SM (00:29:34):
Well, I agree. I have a copy of it. I think it is a classic and I agree with what you say about your dad. Because one of the issues, I was in higher education for almost 30-some years, and very few people are willing to ever admit they make a mistake. And it is a sign of a true leader when they do because they become vulnerable.

CM (00:29:56):
Exactly.

SM (00:29:56):
And then they start questioning, which happened to your dad. " Why did not you do this before you left in 1967?" Here's another criticism of your dad. "Why was it that when you left," and I remember the scene, you actually can see it on YouTube where the president is... The going away ceremony, he was very emotional and he did not really say that because he did not agree with the president. I know he did not. And then some people said, "Well, he went off to Aspen to ski and he was responsible for the deaths of so many people on the wall." So, there is so many perceptions, but you are kind of like you are damned if you do or damned if you do not.

CM (00:30:40):
Well, I think what you say is accurate, and about his welling up and being very emotional and actually very interesting, because from that point on, he probably would never admit this but I think he suffered significantly from a- But I think he suffered significantly from a post-traumatic stress syndrome that, believe it or not, I think I suffered from, too, in the sense that the events of Vietnam were so distraught, disturbing to our nation. And personally, you mentioned the emulation, the person igniting themselves in front of the Pentagon. Those events are so dark, so traumatic. I do not think one ever recovers from them.

SM (00:31:34):
Right.

CM (00:31:38):
And you cannot control them. You cannot control when those emotions... That is a significant damage to one's psyche character. And you cannot suppress that. As good as certain people are, and my father was one of the best at compartmentalizing parts of his life, that went deep into all parts of his life. I do not think for the rest of his life, he could actually do both.

SM (00:32:06):
One of the things that upset so many of the boomer generation, because TV was very important, black and white television and the news, is when your dad gave those weekly reports on the numbers killed. And many believed he was lying, because those reports included dead animals and all the other things just to please the president. But what is interesting, when he wrote, in retrospect... I have two anecdotes. My very first interview, because I started this project way back in (19)96, as it said in my letter there, and I met with Senator McCarthy. And one of the questions during my meeting when Senator Eugene McCarthy was, what do you think of the new book out by Robert McNamara? I have to listen to it again to get the exact quote, but he is a little too late.

CM (00:33:00):
Yeah.

SM (00:33:01):
A little too late, and he was very upset, and he said, "Let us go on the next question". So that was his response. And then, I have pictures at the Vietnam Memorial, because I have been going to the Vietnam Memorial since 1994 for Veterans and Memorial Day to pay my respects. And in about the year that, in retrospect, came out, I will never forget it. There were two copies of... in fact, I can look it up and send it to you on the computer. There were two copies of your dad's book that had bullet holes through it.

CM (00:33:34):
Yeah. Yeah.

SM (00:33:35):
And very bad words underneath the book. So, the feelings were still there. And then, when I go to the wall many times, I do not hear it as much now, but there's three names that always come up that were the bad people. And it if it is the veterans talking, it is Jane Fonda. Who they cannot stand, for obvious reasons, and then, they mentioned your dad and Henry Kissinger. Those three. But then, if it is the anti-war people, it is not Jane Fonda, it is your dad, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon.

CM (00:34:13):
Right.

SM (00:34:14):
And they throw a little bit of Agnew in there, but they do not say a whole lot about LBJ because of his great society. So, those are just some anecdotes I wanted to share. Why did you drop out of Stanford?

CM (00:34:27):
Oh, largely because of my disenfranchisement with this remarkable country that I do love tremendously. That was 1971, the winter. And I just realized that having... I mean, I personally lived very close to the man who was Secretary of Defense during the lead up of Vietnam War, that getting back to these wounds, whether you want to call it post-traumatic stress syndrome or whatever, that I needed to rediscover my country. That I needed to reinvest in my country. I needed to reinvest in myself. And the only way I could do that was somehow get a new vision of the beauty, of the strength of our people, of our country. And the way I did that was to begin a journey to South America. And I began that with a few friends. And we traveled through Central America, learning Spanish along the way. And eventually, arriving in Colombia where my two friends decided today that their journey, travel journey was over and mine was not. And I continued on that point all the way down to Tierra del Fuego. Been another year and a half on the road. And the more formidable part of that journey for me was working on [inaudible] farm. Worked with [inaudible] Indians. I worked with Chilean dairy farmers. I worked with egg growers, produce people. I have worked on fishing boats, and I was immersed in something that it completely resonated for me. It was food production. For me, it brought together two worlds that I thought were very divergent at that time. One was the political world that I had somewhat grown-up in. The other was the early world that my parents had shown me, which is that of the garden of [inaudible]. My fondest childhood memories are being with my dad and mom in the garden, with him picking a fresh tomato and putting a little salt on it, taking a big bite, the juice rolling down his cheek. My mom is picking asparagus, cutting roses to bring in to our kitchen table. So those two worlds, the early ones and the mid-ones, the land and the politics to me were married in food production. And I realized after two and a half years on the road, I had no education. I had worked a little bit, but I had no education, and that I wanted to formalize that, and went to UC Davis to study plant and soil types. Knowing in the beginning, that I wanted to come out and eventually farm.

SM (00:38:07):
Wow. What a story.

CM (00:38:09):
Well, it really [inaudible]

SM (00:38:12):
Were your parents worried about you being so far away?

CM (00:38:15):
They must have been absolutely worried, I mean, for many, many reasons. And just let me remind you, I arrived in Santiago, Chile in the early days of September 1971. And that was the anniversary of Salvador Allende being the first elected socialist president in Chile.

SM (00:38:39):
Wow.

CM (00:38:40):
And Dad, being the head of the World Bank at that time, certainly knew of the difficulties that were occurring in Chile, and probably could, in his own mind, forecast what future may... how the future may unfold. I know my mom was very worried about my well-being. Of course, there was no communication. There was... Just in terms of getting mail, with my parents sending a letter to the embassy. That was the only way I could get mail. I think I called them infrequently, maybe every six months, like that. But it is so interesting now to have children who are texting and messaging and emailing and phoning, and the degree of communication today is at different level.

SM (00:39:43):
You know, one of the big things that was in the news around the mid-(19)60s was the fact that Governor Rockefeller's son was, I think, down in Brazil and disappeared.

CM (00:39:56):
He did. I recall that.

SM (00:39:56):
Yeah, that was really big in the news. Of course, he was down there to help people. He was...

CM (00:39:59):
Well, I do not know if you saw the movie, Missing, about the coup in Chile. It is a very powerful movie. And to be quite honest, my story could have been similar to that story.

SM (00:40:18):
Wow. I am going to get back to your work with the farm in a couple of minutes here, but correct me if I am ever repeating anything, because I got a series of questions here. I have an order. I do a lot of thinking before I do my interviews.

CM (00:40:35):
I know you do. I can tell, but I am grateful and appreciate it.

SM (00:40:35):
Yeah. And everyone is different, and some are some general questions...

CM (00:40:40):
Make it fun and interesting and insightful for you and for the person you're interviewing, and potentially, for the people reading the book.

SM (00:40:47):
Yeah. And I want to reach students, and high school students, college students with this, as well as the general public. Because I want people to understand where people come from, and to show a little respect for people who they may agree or disagree with. I do not have a whole lot of tolerance for intolerance at times. I understand that you were against the war, but your dad ran. Did you have any major discussions with him at different times about the war, and your differences? And did he listen? Was there a major generation gap between you and your parents? And how about your two sisters and the parents?

CM (00:41:29):
Well, as I mentioned before, Dad, in certain ways, was a master at compartmentalizing. I think he felt in his own vision as a parent of six kids that he needed, in some way, to protect his son and his children, and he did that by not engaging in conversations.

SM (00:41:51):
Okay.

CM (00:41:52):
About Vietnam. The only time I would glean information on that front would be if I had a friend who was well versed in the topic, and that friend was trying to engage Dad in conversation, that was when I could open the window to some of his thoughts on that. And that continued throughout his life. I think, here is the bottom line, between a father and a son, we never lost love for one another. We never lost respect for one another. And I give my mom tremendous credit for being the conduit of love and communication, because that is a natural way to [inaudible] in so many families. And so many of my peers lost their relationship to their father at that time, and never healed. I have friends coming up to me and say even to my dad's dying day, we never were able to reach that point. What a sad misstep. What was the other part of your question?

SM (00:43:01):
Yeah. Was there any difference between how your dad dealt with you and your two sisters?

CM (00:43:06):
I do not think so.

SM (00:43:07):
Okay.

CM (00:43:08):
My sisters are nine and six years older than I am. Really was quite... They were well off to college and gone as I was growing up. But I know that they did not engage either on that topic. Now, let me get to the issue of did my relationship as son of my father affect his decision making? It would be very egotistical for me to say yes, and yet, I do believe that my choice of life and the direction that I have taken in life very much affected him in fact. I think the fact that my sisters and I had friends who were very involved leading the anti-war movement was insightful and [inaudible] on him. He just did not let it be known. That was the problem.

SM (00:44:07):
We talked about the qualities of admitting... Making mistake and the regrets and so forth. But was there ever a feeling on the part of you or your sisters, or maybe even your mom that, if you have a problem with President Johnson over a policy, just resign?

CM (00:44:30):
Well, I think most our reflections on that afterthought there again, just because the age that I was during the event, I would say absolutely. My father was a man of tremendous integrity. And so I think you or I of this generation would say, well, if you feel differently, then you owe it to yourself, number one to your family, and to the nation, to demonstrate agreement by resigning. And I just cannot put myself in his [inaudible] and choose and know what he felt about them. It goes back to this loyalty, which I think his generation must have at a different parameter and definition than I might.

SM (00:45:27):
Just in your own words, could you please, if someone were to come up to you like a high school student and you walk in and someone were to come up to you and say, who was Robert McNamara? And you would describe your father or the leader, or how would you describe him to someone or particularly a young person? And also how would you describe your mom? Because I think your mom is very important here. She is very important in history and they are a team, in my opinion. I look at this, I see a twosome that became one. That is what marriage is supposed to be about. And just so in, how would you define both of them?

CM (00:46:11):
Well, individually first, right?

SM (00:46:13):
Yes.

CM (00:46:16):
I would respond to the question coming from a high school student or another person about who my father was... Is a very, very bright man. And who truly loved humankind. A man who wanted the best for a globe is deeply divided. The seven years that my father spent as Secretary of Defense determined the rest of his life. Yes, he lived from 1980 to the year 2009, lived another 29 years. Well, actually, the time that he left defense in (19)78, that (19)78, (19)88, (19)98, another 40 years to his life. And during those 40 years, his true ambition for the betterment of mankind and society came forward, advanced. He was able to advance that in such a significant way. And very, very few people in the United States understand that respect. And I think that that is a tragedy, a law. He was defined by Vietnam, and yet his defining moment came during the next forty years.

SM (00:48:23):
I think what you just said is very important, Craig. I will let you continue here in a second. Because as a person who believes in student development and believes in human development, and we tell students in college, or hopefully they learn this, that you are constantly evolving as a human being, and it does not stop until the day you die.

CM (00:48:43):
Exactly. And in the case of a leader, it is our society's nature to pigeonhole them to a time of their lives, of greatness, or of tremendous loss. And he was defined. He has been defined by the latter.

SM (00:49:11):
How about your mom?

CM (00:49:16):
My mom, my dad had said, was one of God's loveliest creature. She had a sparkle in her eye. She had very, very beautiful blue eyes, which... I inherited many things from my mom. My eyes, my name Craig was her maiden name. And I am so honored have my name Craig, be in more of the Latin tradition where the mother also shares her name with the offspring. I am so happy to have the name Craig. And I am so moved and touched by her spirit and her connection to Mother Nature. She gifted that to me. It is something that you were very generous commenting on in your letter and our phone call. That is something that I have explored my whole life. And in terms of the educational program, we currently offer to students across California, it is the foundation. It is my foundation, and it is what I do, my own family. It is what I do for students in California and [inaudible].

SM (00:50:39):
And you lead me right into the question is someone to ask. Who is Robert Craig McNamara?

CM (00:50:51):
Robert Craig McNamara is a reflection of both my parents. And a person who has been moved and affected by the history that I have lived true. So although I did not serve in Vietnam, I certainly have been very affected by it. It is a part of me every day. And my goals have been to really help make this world a better place for the individuals at this point in time.

SM (00:51:54):
Did you feel that when you were in that one year at Stanford and maybe your junior and senior in high school, that any of your fellow students get on you for being the son of the person who was running the Vietnam War?

CM (00:52:07):
Absolutely. It was always on my mind. It was always something that I had to demonstrate. Who I was myself. It was a life-altering pressure on me that I had to find out [inaudible] who I was and be that honest person to myself. And yes, I actually felt that in a certain way, that it was remarkable that people allowed me to be who I was and did not spit on, did not take offense, or become violent, because I know how frustrated I have been over our decision to go to war in Iraq. Our decision go to war today. I know the dark side of feelings against our leaders. So I can imagine how people have felt about me. That I was embodiment of my father, but I am not.

SM (00:53:37):
Right.

CM (00:53:39):
And I want to move this forward for one second. Dad, was asked to come to Berkeley...

SM (00:53:46):
And Craig, could you speak up just a little bit too?

CM (00:53:48):
Yep. Dad was asked to come to UC Berkeley, and I thought it was before the [inaudible] War, but you may help me out here. Maybe more in retrospect. And he came to Zellerbach Hall, which the largest hall in Berkeley. And he said he had never been back to Berkeley, his alma mater, in many, many years. He certainly could not come back during the four years because he would have been protested against. And I think because of his World Bank experience and other experiences, he just had not been back to campus. This was a beloved place for him too. Memories of meeting my mom and being a student at Berkeley. So, he was asked to come to Berkeley to speak on a retrospect for the [inaudible] War, and it was packed. The auditorium was absolutely packed with an audience outside. And I was very fearful for his life. And this was recently, this was within the last 10 years. And I felt very on edge in terms of reading the room, reading the audience, and if there was going to be any violent movement towards him. Which is pretty remarkable for me to feel that at this point in my life or in our life. And to be quite honest, his presence and his participation and his, at that point, transparency and honesty, I think really was received by the audience and was warmly received. They may have totally just not liked, but they appreciated the moment.

SM (00:55:46):
Yeah. Well I know Bobby Muller and Bobby Muller was on several panels with your dad over the last 10 years, I believe. And here's a man who came back from Vietnam, very disenchanted. And Bobby was one of the people that said when he came back, he realized that Vietnam or excuse me, that America is not always the good guy. Yet he could be on the stage with your dad. And I know he respected your dad. So that says a lot when Bobby can say really nice things about some of the things that happened to him during that time period.

CM (00:56:22):
This is Bobby Muller?

SM (00:56:23):
Yeah, Bobby Muller.

CM (00:56:24):
And did he serve in Vietnam?

SM (00:56:26):
Yeah. He was the founder of Vietnam Veterans of America. And I believe if you go into YouTube you will see your dad being interviewed by that professor. It is a show that they had and it's a tremendous interview. It is an hour and 10 minutes.

CM (00:56:47):
That is a great one. Do you remember the year of that?

SM (00:56:50):
It had to be the time that he went probably for this speech, because he talked about in retrospect, he was not there-

CM (00:56:56):
It was retrospect.

SM (00:56:59):
Yeah. It was not for [inaudible] War. I would like your comments here. I am up to this point where after Norman Morrison, a Quaker father of three, burned himself only 40 feet from your dad's window at the Pentagon on November 2nd of (19)65. Your dad states in the book, and this is very important. I knew Marge, is it Marge?

CM (00:57:19):
Margie.

SM (00:57:20):
Margie. "I knew Margie and our three children shared many of Morrison's feelings about the war, as did the wives and children of several of my cabinet colleagues. And I believed, I understood, and shared some of his thoughts." I cannot read my writing here. "This was much more Marge and I and the children should have talked about. Yet at moments like this, I often turned inward. Instead, it was a grave weakness. The episode created tension at home that only deepened as dissent and criticism of the war continued to grow."

CM (00:58:10):
Absolutely. Absolutely.

SM (00:58:14):
And that was in the mid-(19)90s when he wrote in retrospect. Or early (19)90s.

CM (00:58:23):
So the touching and reflection there is that he held that inside for all those years. If he could have brought that forward in a memoir earlier, I think it would have provided some healing for our nation. Not a mea culpa that is gone, but it would have... When you let something fester for 25 years, it is just insurmountable. I am proud of him for coming to that point in his life. And I wished for all of us, for me, for our nation, for the Vietnamese, for the men and women of the United States that died and served. For everybody who was touched globally by Vietnam, I wish my father had been able.

SM (00:59:23):
Right. Hold on one second. When you were at UC Davis back in (19)76, obviously you had not been in college since (19)69, did you notice a big difference in the types of students that were there as opposed to the ones at Stanford in (19)69?

CM (00:59:49):
Yes, I did. One of my thoughts... I am trying to remember this one thought that I think I felt that Davis was... I better not say that. I thought that it was very diverse ethnically, but I am a little [inaudible]. Let us not... When I came back, I was very directed at age 24. I knew going in what I wanted to achieve, what degree, and what my career goals were. So that was very well-defined for me. I must admit, my experience at Stanford was a very dynamic fighting one, but incredibly challenging because of the student activities against the war. So that permeated everything I did. I also, in the one thing I very much enjoyed about campus was just looking at a whole educational opportunity. So I immediately looked into theater, literature, just enjoyed in developing myself in things that, in academia and extracurriculars that were very dynamic for me. So that was very different. And [inaudible], I studied two years straight.

SM (01:01:40):
But students were probably since (19)76, they changed a lot too. They were not as activists.

CM (01:01:41):
And I think that is quite true. One of the things that was starting then, that was very formidable for me is that the food movement was just in its infancy when I went to Davis. So many of us who were on the edge and... Who were kind of on the edge and helped create a new vision for our food society. Were they're studying the beginnings of sustainable agriculture. We did not even have that word. And what I remind myself and others, particularly sometimes I have the opportunity to get guest lecture at Berkeley, UC Davis and other places. I remind our colleagues, our students, that these changes that we are enjoying today started 25 and 30 years ago. And so, the fact that we now have CSA Phoenix [inaudible], so now that we have farmer's markets and abundance, that we have incredible writers like Michael Fallon and visionaries like Alice Waters. It's taken us a quarter of a century to get to where we are today. And we mustn't forget that because going to take us another period upon to advance to the next phase.

SM (01:03:06):
How important was Earth Day to you? Because you left in (19)69 and then you were down in, well, in one of the South American countries. But were you aware of what was going on up here in 1970, on April 22? And well, how important was that to you personally?

CM (01:03:25):
When Vietnam was ending or what?

SM (01:03:26):
No, this was Earth.

CM (01:03:28):
Earth Day? I am sorry.

SM (01:03:29):
Yeah, because Gaylord Nelson was the Senator who was pushing, you worked with Dennis Haynes, but it was Gaylord, Senator Nelson that was really the leader on this.

CM (01:03:39):
Right. So, the first Earth Day was April of (19)70...

SM (01:03:41):
1970, April 22.

CM (01:03:44):
Yeah, 1970. So, I was still here in this country. But very formidable. I think where I lost some of the chronology is when I was actually out of the country. Quite a, tens of thousands of miles away and many worlds apart. So, from (19)71 to (197)3, I was more immersed in South American politics society than I was in US or global.

SM (01:04:18):
Right. And I know that Pia Nelson, which is Gaylord's daughter. Is very big in the environmental movement in Wisconsin. I do not know if you have ever met her?

CM (01:04:28):
I have not, but I know of her name.

SM (01:04:31):
Yeah, she is. I interviewed her and of course I just had the celebration. And then Robert Kennedy Jr. I think has been very involved too.

CM (01:04:38):
Very involved. My experience in Washington in those early years, was a very close friendship with the Robert Kennedy family, and a lot of time spent together in Hickory Hill with the Kennedys. With Bobby and Ethel and Kathleen and Joe. Bobby at that point was just a few years younger than I was. But he is such an incredible national spokesman and leader. I so appreciate his vision and follow.

SM (01:05:13):
Yeah, he has left a legacy with his kids. They are all doing great things. Now I am into the section that, I know you are going to enjoy, and that is talking about Sierra Orchards and some of the work you have done since (19)76. Could you talk a little bit about your dreams when you purchased the land that you now oversee? Because from what I have read, is you did a trip around the country first. See if you can find the best spot.

CM (01:05:40):
That I said.

SM (01:05:40):
And then you came back to your home area, basically, or near your home area.

CM (01:05:45):
My adopted home. But I had been here, I find myself that I arrived in [inaudible] without anything. I think I had a backpack, no bicycle, no car, no living space. And set a foot to knock on doors to find, in a college town, to find a place to live. Obviously, I did and bought a used bike. And that is how I made my rounds. I became, while I was studying, I became a beekeeper. And so I would carry wood from the lumber yard out to the house and make beehives and carry on there. So the question is my vision, once I started Sierra Orchard?

SM (01:06:31):
Yes.

CM (01:06:34):
Knowing as I did, from this journey to Latin America. Working on veggie farms, getting a little bit of an education. When I realized, that the inclusion of that was that I needed several things. Ultimately a farm, and more importantly, to learn how to farm. And so when I finished up, I had a little Datsun pickup truck and a soil auger. That is the device where you drill down into the soil to see how mother nature has created this incredible living environment. The beginning of everything. I drove across the United States in a zig pattern, stopping off at farms Colorado, [inaudible], Arkansas and back east. I realized that the best environment for me would be right where I had come from. Very soiled, by the water, the markets, the population, future. And I did that. But then there was that other ingredient that I needed, which was the experience. I thank God, I met the most incredible mentor of my life Chun Laing, Chinese farmer. And he took me under his wing in a large commercial operation, and I worked with Chun and for Chun for three years. And started a produce stand, did direct marketing, grew [inaudible] melons, shipped them back east. Suffered all the ups and downs of a young farmer. And decided at the conclusion of that, that truck farming, which is vegetables, [inaudible], et cetera. Was not for me. I needed a crop that had lesser perishability, that I would have more control over in the marketplace. One harvest and walnut fit all of that criteria. So in 1980, together with the help of my father, we bought what is today, Sierra Orchards. The name comes from the fact that I stand on the edge of the field and look to the east, see those beautiful mountains, Sierra mountains. That mom and dad and sisters and my friends used to hike in when I was six years old, eight years old. So, I also realized early, in that process, that I am just a steward of this plant. That it too shall, as it has turned over in second generations, but I too will pass it on. So, my goal was to be as sustainable at food as I could be. I started off as a conventional grower, which means I used the grow seed of petrochemical based materials to insecticide or herbicide. And about 10 years into our farming operation, transitioned to organic. But I always remind myself and others, who might listen. That I do believe in organics, but I believe it is a smaller piece of a much larger, complex fabric. And that fabric, I will call sustainable agriculture. That is the direction, our nation needs to go in and our world. Agricultural food production needs to go in.

SM (01:10:02):
In a sense, you have taken some of the qualities that your dad had, the quality of service to one's nation, and he did it as a politician in Washington and in other capacities. And you have done it in the environment by serving, by creating healthy foods. And one thing I noticed in reading about your background, these things stand out. Producing healthy foods, sustaining the environment or respect for the environment we live in. And then of course teaching the next generation these same qualities.

CM (01:10:37):
Well, thank you for saying that. I really appreciate that. And that is, I would say, the substance of my life. And there was a motto that many of us have grown up with, and that is 'those who have been given, much as expected.'

SM (01:10:54):
Yes.

CM (01:10:55):
I would change that motto a little bit, because I think that may have fit (19)40s and (19)50s, maybe early (19)60s. I think today what we need to recognize is, we all need to bring each other up and bring the best out of our brothers [inaudible] today. That is my goal, because I have been given a lot, therefore, I have to give a lot. Yeah, I think that is one side. I get a lot, I get a huge amount from the work that I have engaged in. With students and professionals in the state of California. It's just a tremendous conduit of moving forward together. That is my goal. Not that I have anything particularly unique or special to impart, other than by bringing us together to do the best job environmentally for our state, for our country.

SM (01:12:01):
Well, your mom and dad, your mom would definitely be very proud of you. And your dad obviously saw this, and that is the Farms program. If I am a college administrator and I had experienced just taking students to different places. If I was working at UC Davis, I would be coming to your place every year.

CM (01:12:20):
Oh, thank you.

SM (01:12:20):
Yeah, no, because you are exactly what we are talking about here. And could you talk about how, I think your wife has involved in this too, the Farms program. Explain how you had this hands-on experience for high school students and kind of the impact that this has had on many of them, as they have gone on with their lives.

CM (01:12:37):
Absolutely. Well, now thank you for mentioning that Farms was our flagship program that Julie and I started way back when, in nineteen ninety four-ish, I believe, or earlier. We would bring students out to the farm and feed them. My wife is an entomologist, that is insects. So she did a great job in engaging students with integrated best management. And the wonders of how, as a food producer, we can be in balance with nature. And there really truly is a long tradition, hundreds of years old, maybe thousands old. Of how we can get our natural environment in sync. So, that has just been one of the greatest enjoyable parts of our lives, together as the man and wife. And parents raising children.

SM (01:13:41):
And you are also, you like being called a farmer.

CM (01:13:45):
I love it. When it comes time to fill out that tax form, farmer. Because to me, it resonates back to that point that I made earlier, farming is political. Food security is the most important single issue facing every man, wife, and child in this globe. And it pains me tremendously to know that as a globe, we are suffering every day from malnutrition and in a globe where we have the ability to provide. And I am going to jump forward to another mentor and a person who I think has been a guiding light. And that is Michael Paulin. And Michael has said many remarkable things, but one very simple one is he says, "Vote with your fork." And what he means by that is, if you are in charge of making policy decisions. Buy what you choose to buy and what you choose to eat. Now that gets really complicated because you could say, "Oh, well, some people might say that organic foods or healthier food is more expensive." I do not think so. My wife and I cook fresh foods every night. And yes, we buy organic, but we also spend the time doing the food preparation. It does not matter whether it is an organic carrot or a sustainably grown carrot. Taking that time to eat healthy fresh food. I believe, apparently, that all of us can do that.

SM (01:15:31):
Yeah, you just got to have the willpower.

CM (01:15:35):
I think it is wherewithal and the willpower. Yeah.

SM (01:15:38):
Yeah. You also received a very prestigious award, and I will not read what they said on the award, but you won the Leopold Conservation Award. And of course, Also Leopold and I took students to meet Taylor Nelson for the first time in Washington, and at the very end of our session. One of the students asked, "Well, who did you look up to? And who do you suggest we ought to read?" And he said, "Aldo Leopold."

CM (01:16:05):
Ah, that is good.

SM (01:16:07):
And of course he went on to talk about overpopulation, which was something that he thought the world has forgotten in his plea to help the environment. But that must have been quite an honor? You got that in 2007.

CM (01:16:20):
It was a tremendous honor, and I want to just share that honor with all of our family and farm workers and staff at the Center for Land-Based Food Learning. Who helped create that environment to win that award. There's no one award goes to one person. It just has taken so many people engaged in that. And I have a funny little recent vignette. Our youngest member of our family, Emily, has just started up college and she was very excited. She has taken a course in environmental study. So, I got this text message, not a phone call, but a text message that you will not believe. We were reading this work by an incredible nationalist. I know you have never heard of him. His name is Aldo Leopold. So I texted her back and said, "Oh my God, you were right." You have discovered something absolutely remarkable. Now, you may not have known or remembered, but I did receive the Aldo Leopold Award. So, the beauty is you bring these people into the world and then they discover. So, she is in this wonderful discovery phase of her life that there is nothing sweeter than that. Nothing better.

SM (01:17:45):
Is that the one at Brown?

CM (01:17:46):
She is at Brown, yeah.

SM (01:17:47):
Well, that is a great school. I got some general questions here. Now, these are just some questions I have asked a lot of the people that I have interviewed. The Boomer generation is often, and that we see it today, is often attacked as the generation that curated all the problems in our society today. I know in 1994, when Newt Gingrich came into power, he made commentaries about the period of the (19)60s, the (19)60s generation. And we certainly see a lot on Fox today. [inaudible 01:18:20] Governor Huckabee oftentimes says it. I know when John McCain was running for President, he made some comments about Hillary. Even though they were close friends, she was from the (19)60s, kind of in a negative way. But the question is this, the generation, many people are on the right or conservatives. Are saying that the generation are just responsible for the drug culture, the sexual freedoms, the breakup of the family, the divorce rate, the lessening of the influence of religion and God in their lives. Of course, they talk about rock and roll music along here, disrespect for authority, support for the welfare state, anything they can in that period, that created an ambience that has continued and gone on to be negative. But what are your thoughts when you hear that?

CM (01:19:15):
Well, let me just delve into what you have just said. So, are you saying that those people who are critical are not part of the Baby Boomer generation?

SM (01:19:29):
Oh, no. Some of them are.

CM (01:19:30):
That is my point.

SM (01:19:33):
Some of them are, and of course some are more recent [inaudible] cultures of the world.

CM (01:19:37):
Okay. But there is a huge section that we are all together in that.

SM (01:19:43):
Yes.

CM (01:19:44):
Just a minute. This is us. If you are criticizing, you are criticizing something that you were part of. And so help bring us together. If we are polarized and we are so polarized in this nation. What is it that is going to take us to come together? I continue to believe that diversity is our greatest gift. That by having diversity of ethnic backgrounds and diversity of belief, that is our greatest gift. If it severs us, then we have not achieved, then we have not been successful. So, let us move forward and maybe move to the side of the agenda. Some of the things that have polarized us in the past, and let us just put them in a parking lot. Take some time out, take gun control, maybe even some very, very significant issues that you and I and others feel so fervently about. Write to light, maybe let us just take that issue and put it to the side and look at other issues like food security, malnutrition, war across the world. And try to solve some of these incredibly complex issues. That potentially will tear this world apart, not just the United States.

SM (01:21:13):
It's as if that, and this is, I have seen it all throughout-throughout my years in the university, too. That John Kerry ran for President in 19-, excuse me, 2004. Okay. It is the (19)60s all over again. The divisions over the Vietnam War, those that said he lied about his war record and all the other things.

CM (01:21:32):
That to me is a tragedy. We are so mired in that, and maybe that is the origin of your question. But if it is the origin, and if there is some truth to that, stand up, take us... Let us say we are all participating. We are all contributed to that. So, I had a position to counter someone else back in 1968. For crying out loud, it is time to move on. Why is that such, why is that dividing us today? Maybe that is the answer to your question.

SM (01:22:07):
Yeah. And it is also, you cannot even use the word Vietnam or quagmire because if you use those two words, they immediately think of Vietnam. And of course, we all went through when Reagan became President. And we are back and we're going to bring back the (19)50s kind of mentality again. And then you had Ron, President Bush the first saying that the Vietnam syndrome is over. And well, what is the syndrome? It is like, cannot get over it. And even as President Obama, he tries to separate himself from the (19)60s, yet his opponents say he is the epitome of the (19)60s. It has returned. So it keeps going. And I think you have raised some good points.

CM (01:22:51):
Part of it is, why are people so mean-spirited right now? Why is it? I mean, certainly throughout history, we have had leaders, politicians, religious leaders, et cetera. Who have been mean spirited. But why is it to the degree that it is today? And I do not have that answer, but I look for it.

SM (01:23:23):
Yeah. I think we got to look for the better, betterness. The better of all of us or better souls, so to speak. When did the (19)60s begin? In your opinion. And when did it end?

CM (01:23:38):
When did it begin in my life? Or when did...

SM (01:23:41):
In your opinion, when, just your thoughts. When do you think the (19)60s began and when do you think it ended?

CM (01:23:49):
I mean, do you want a feeling? Do you want a date?

SM (01:23:54):
It could be anything. People have responded in so many different ways from specific events to...

CM (01:24:00):
I got to say, it is funny you mentioned this. I first remember hearing the Rolling Stones, I cannot get no satisfaction. I think the (19)60s started me when I heard that song.

SM (01:24:13):
Okay. That was a great song.

CM (01:24:15):
A great song. I do not know what year that hit, but I was probably...

SM (01:24:20):
(19)67.

CM (01:24:20):
(19)67?

SM (01:24:27):
Yeah. It was (19)66, (19)67, because my mom used to watch As The World Turns. And they were playing that song in the background on As The World Turns. Then I remember saying, "Oh my God, now the Rolling Stones have gone mainstream."

CM (01:24:45):
Well, now that, so maybe that is not. Maybe the (19)60s started a lot earlier than the that.

SM (01:25:04):
Just your opinion.

CM (01:25:04):
Yeah. And when did the (19)60s end? I would say the (19)60s ended with the death of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

SM (01:25:16):
In (19)68? Yeah.

CM (01:25:19):
I am going to tell you, when the (19)60s began, it is interesting. I just reflected on it. I have these downers, but I think the (19)60s began when President Kennedy was killed.

SM (01:25:24):
(19)63.

CM (01:25:42):
I think that is when the (19)60s began. And I think, and they ended when Martin Luther and Bobby... And I hate to bookend that by those deaths. I am not a dark person.

SM (01:25:49):
Would that be the watershed moment?

CM (01:25:51):
[inaudible].

SM (01:25:52):
Would that be your watershed moment, too?

CM (01:25:59):
To be quite honest. I think what we are talking about, my biggest watershed moment was when my dad resigned to take care of himself.

SM (01:26:08):
Okay.

CM (01:26:09):
I actually, physically remember a crowd moving out of my mind, out of my body. Remember a dark, moving from...

SM (01:26:27):
Were you in the room when he did make an announcement or were you, saw it on TV?

CM (01:26:35):
I am pretty sure I was out of, not in.

SM (01:26:45):
And in 1963 with the assassination, where were you when you first heard it?

CM (01:26:51):
I knew exactly where I was. I was, we were at a friend’s school and, was it? It was a Friday? Was not it?

SM (01:27:00):
Yes, it was. November 22, was a Friday.

CM (01:27:02):
Yeah. We were going to have our first [inaudible 01:27:07]. Does that sound like something out of the (19)60s?

SM (01:27:07):
Yeah.

CM (01:27:12):
[inaudible]. I was very, very excited. I was always on the dance committee or on the civic. I was very excited about this event. And I think the principal may have called me to the office, prior to announcing it over the PA system. And I just was seven, six. We all were, and that began, I remember my mom picking me up and taking me home. And we had this wonderful golden retriever, who was my dog. And we just lied in bed. And then, that night we loaded into the Galaxy car and drove out to the NIH. Where the, because my dad received Kennedy, and the body well... The autopsy was going on, I was in the car waiting outside, that night.

SM (01:28:14):
Oh my gosh. That is when the plane came back from Dallas with president or Vice President Johnson and now President Johnson.

CM (01:28:23):
That is right.

SM (01:28:25):
That was must have been trying, and most people watched it on TV. But you were probably at the events, were not you?

CM (01:28:30):
I was right there, at the hospital. As I said, in the darkness, in the car. My mom was there at my dad's side.

SM (01:28:40):
Wow. And did you go to the Rotunda?

CM (01:28:44):
I did, yes. And then of course, to the grave site.

SM (01:28:45):
Were you with the people that walked from downtown to the Arlington?

CM (01:29:02):
I do not think I was involved in that.

SM (01:29:05):
As a young boy. I am getting into this because it is a very, you are the only person I really interviewed that had the experience of being this close to this particular event. When you were at the site at Arlington, it was on TV, everybody saw it. But what went through your mind? How old were you? You were only...

CM (01:29:26):
13.

SM (01:29:28):
What is going through the mind of a 13 year old that his dad's boss? Because you are probably thinking that your dad's boss, has just been murdered, in Dallas. What is going through your mind?

CM (01:29:46):
I think quite honestly, I probably may have been seen it more through his reflections than my own. Because we had, in my lifetime, I had never experienced that. I had never experienced a violent death. I had never experienced the present in that fashion, and it was absolutely unfathomable. So, to see the sadness overcome my mom and dad. And particularly my dad, because he was in the limelight. He was so involved, picking out grave sites. And I mean, with the family, he was very close to those. To the Jack's family and the President's, and to Robert Kennedy's family. So, I think it was just the towns' grief, that had no bottom to it.

SM (01:30:48):
If you were to look at the generation, the Boomers. Do you like the term Boomer?

CM (01:31:02):
Interestingly enough, I am a person who has many opinions and I am happy to share them. I am not sure I have an opinion about it.

SM (01:31:10):
That is okay.

CM (01:31:11):
I am not sure I have an opinion about whether it is just something that I have grown up with. I just, I must admit I accept it.

SM (01:31:17):
I had one person who I interviewed, he said, "If you mentioned Boomer one more time, the interview's over."

CM (01:31:26):
He was clearly, worked up about it.

SM (01:31:27):
Yeah, because he was a little older than the Boomers.

CM (01:31:30):
It is one way or the other. I mean, maybe because... And this would totally be an inaccuracy, but the thought of as elitist, it cannot be. Because that gets back to my point of we are the Boomers. How many of us are there?

SM (01:31:48):
There is 74 million.

CM (01:31:50):
Okay. So if you're a Boomer, take responsibility for yourself. Take responsibility for our society, and take responsibility for the good and the bad and decisions that we have made.

SM (01:32:06):
You are right. And I had one person that mentioned to me that he thought Boomers were white men or maybe white women, and that the people of color were not included. I said, "Oh, no, boomers are everybody who was born in that period and were American." I do not even...

CM (01:32:19):
That is my point.

SM (01:32:20):
I have been dealing, been interviewing three Asian American scholars. Because you do not hear much about Asian Americans during this period. So, when you look at this generation, are there some qualities or characteristics that you like and dislike? I know you cannot generalize about a whole generation because there's 74 million.

CM (01:32:39):
I think we are very thoughtful. I think that we are [inaudible]. I think that by and large, we want the best for our society and for our global society. I think we have very strong values, and somehow, we have allowed. Now we have allowed a divisive to come in for our world and we have got to take that back. And we probably are, I say every day that it's the next generation will be this. And they certainly will. But you know what? It's our responsibility to heal. To heal our society, to kill what is wrong with our world things and just rely on ourselves.

SM (01:33:41):
Many within the generation felt that they were the most unique generation American history when they were young because they were going to end war-

CM (01:33:48):
I think we are-

SM (01:33:50):
... racism, sexism. Your thoughts on those people that may have thought that they were unique.

CM (01:33:56):
Well, I am not going to pass judgment on people who thought they were unique. I would just caution us to look at before and after generations. I think our parents' generation, credibly had the wherewithal to survive tremendous difficulties because they were all very aware of. And I think this generation of young people is remarkably all their talents and some of their downsides. As a parent, I think some of us have raised a bit of an entitled generation that is not going to serve us and I do not think will serve them well. They will come to grips with it.

SM (01:34:47):
Yeah. We talked earlier about the generation gap between parents and children and we have discussed that. But in a book called The Wounded Generation, that came out in 1980, in a panel discussion, a symposium with five major Vietnam veterans and one of them being Bobby Mueller and Phil Caputo, who wrote the Rumor of War-

CM (01:35:10):
I know Phil well.

SM (01:35:11):
... yeah, and then the Senator of Virginia now, Jim Webb and a couple others. They talked about a lot of different issues and one of them was about the generation gap in service. And I think it was Senator Webb, but he was not senator then, of course, and he made a comment that he felt that the generation gap really was between those who went to war and those who did not. He said yeah, there was the gap between parents and children, but-

CM (01:35:46):
He was good.

SM (01:35:46):
... he said there were those who went to war and there were those who did not and so, within the generation, there was a generation gap. And he felt very strongly about that. And he went so far as to say, we look at the (19)60s generation with President Kennedy and the Peace Corps and Vista and all these service ideas, but he says, it really is not the service generation because they would have all gone to war if they were the service generation, when their nation called. Give your thoughts on that.

CM (01:36:19):
Well, I must agree with him in terms of this sub-gap, and I think that is well defined by those who serve in war and those who did not, and if they served in conscientious objector roles, or left the country, or served in other capacities. Yeah, I am not sure I have a lot more to add.

SM (01:36:53):
The two qualities here that had really mentioned to every single person starting with Senator McCarthy in 1996, was the equality within this generation that they just did not trust, because in most cases they had witnessed so many leaders lying to them. People that were observant and in the know that President Eisenhower lied to the American public when he said that the U2 was not a spy plane and it was.

CM (01:37:28):
Yeah.


SM (01:37:29):
The Gulf of Tonkin with President Johnson, history has shown that that was not really a truthful beginning of a war. And we had people like Senator Morris and others challenging the president right from the get-go. We had Watergate with Richard Nixon. We had so many leaders that students, at this time, just did not trust anybody in positions of responsibility, whether they were a religious leader, a corporate leader, a university leader, a political leader. Do you feel that that quality, that is often labeled within this generation, is a plus or a negative?

CM (01:38:08):
Well, let us talk about why it is that way first. Then let us apply a plus or negative. One of the reasons it is that way is because of the technology of the time in the media. We had never, correct me if I am wrong, experienced a way of communicating with each other that would get that word out. And of course, today you look at our ability through all of our social networking is hugely more engaged in that way. But were not we one of the first generations, and was not Vietnam one of the first occasions where we had information, right, wrong or indifferent, that we as a generation could determine whether it was truthful or not? And so that gave us the substrate or that gave us the foundation or the infrastructure to then make a judgment and I think that is what you are moving towards. We may have been in a unique position. I am not saying that our generation of boomers is any more unique than other generations, but we had a unique opportunity to view things. And yes, I think we did challenge. And I think that we did develop a significant amount of mistrust. Was that a plus or a minus? I harken back to this, "It does not really matter, the fact is we are living with it." So, I am a much more engaged person in terms of... I want to attempt to understand history so that I change our future course, but I want us to engage and make a difference today. So, I am less prone to say it was a plus or a minus, and I would rather say, "Come on. Let us get going. Let us get going in community gardens. Let us get going in getting people out of prison. Let us get going in improving society rather than being divisive."

SM (01:40:23):
Excellent response. The other one was in the issue of healing. I took a group of students that are your daughter's age, back in 1995, to Washington DC, to meet Senator Edmond Musky. We spent two hours with him and our Leadership On The Road programs. And the students came up with the questions, because they had seen videos of 1968 and all the divisions in America at that time and they knew that he was the vice-presidential running lead. And I interviewed Fred Harris and I did not know that it was between him, Fred Harris, and Edmond Musky and it was decided, right there in Chicago. But the point I am trying to get at here is that they saw the divisions, and so they came up with a question. They wanted Senator Musky to respond. And this was the question, "Due to the tremendous divisions that took part in America in the 1960s, the divisions between black and white, male and female, gay and straight, those who supported the war, those who were against the war, those who supported the troops or against the troops, do you feel that all these extreme divisions, including the burnings of the cities..." They went on and on and on about all the negative stuff, the assassinations of President Kennedy and then the two that were killed in 1968. "Do you feel that the boomer generation, like the Civil War generation will go to its grave not healing? They will be bitter?" And we are not talking about everybody now, but those that were involved in all these movements and the divisions and the battles that were fought, that the boomer generation has an issue with healing?

CM (01:42:16):
No, I do not feel that we will go to our grave divided. I mean there is so many layers. You have asked very good questions. All your questions are good, but the final one, because it has to do with our sense of the future, if we cannot depend on it, but you're talking about internally, as a boomer generation.

SM (01:42:47):
Some people thought I should have paraphrased this by those who went to Vietnam, the three plus million who served and those who were in the anti-war movement. Some people say, if you really ask that question that way, then that might be a different answer, but-

CM (01:43:02):
I hope I am not naive on answering the question. I do not believe that that we will remain divide upon. I hope that is the case. I feel a tremendous sense of grief and loss over how our men were received when they came back from Vietnam. I think that is a stain on our national wellbeing and I have worked in my own personal life to understand that and to heal as best I can, and so-

SM (01:43:52):
Do you think your dad healed?

CM (01:43:57):
No, I do not think he healed. No, I think he was alone.

SM (01:44:00):
If he was an individual, it might be a person by person response to that question.

CM (01:44:05):
No, I do not think that he ever recovered from that. As hard as he worked to improve the lives of men and women and children around the world, he visited every country and every leader. And he went to many school sites and agricultural sites, attempting to bring prosperity to folks. I do not-

SM (01:44:40):
You have been to the wall in Washington?

CM (01:44:42):
I have.

SM (01:44:43):
I would like your response when you first saw it, thinking of all the things that may have come to your mind. And Jan Scruggs wrote the book To Heal A Nation, and honestly, the wall was built to heal the families that lost loved ones in the war and to heal the Vietnam veterans and their families who went through so much. And it was to be a non-political entity. That was their goal and so forth. But he also said in the book that he hoped that it would heal the nation too, even beyond the veterans, and be kind of a first step. First off, what's your first reaction when you saw the wall for the first time and your thoughts on whether it has played any part in healing the nation that Jan was talking?

CM (01:45:38):
Well, I must say, very honestly, that a few years ago, I could not have had this conversation with you, because of what I mentioned to you. Just whether one calls it post-traumatic stress, whether one calls it the deep wound scars of Vietnam, I too have been scarred by them, and I say that humbly, because I did not fight in it. But I do think that in our lives that we are scarred by events because of the various roles and actions that we have taken or not taken or have been taken by someone close to us. So, I have experienced a cathartic experience with a very important group in my life, that included a Vietnam vet that I very much respect. And for me that was, I am not sure healing is the right word necessarily, but catharsis is, so it was an evolution. It was a time when I could reveal and dig very deep into those ones that I have played. Therefore, it has helped me heal, because literally I would weep in this conversation had I not had that experience. So back to your question about the wall. My first experience at the wall was prior to this catharsis, and it was the total breaking down for me of experience. And I happened to be there I think, at twilight or in the evening, so it was very alone, very humbling. But I do. Moving towards what Jan Scruggs was saying, as a healing experience for our nation, I hope it is. I hope the true anger and our own personal experiences, we can move forward.

SM (01:47:55):
Do you know when your dad went there for the first time?

CM (01:47:58):
No, I do not. There is all sorts of stories relating to that and his first visit. I do not know if you have read Paul Hendrickson's work?

SM (01:48:12):
Yes, I did. I interviewed him for my book.

CM (01:48:14):
Oh, you did?

SM (01:48:15):
Yeah.

CM (01:48:20):
I have had an interesting experience with Paul, when he started his book, Dad called all of his friends and acquaintances to, " Please cooperate to the degree that you would like with this author. I give my go ahead." And I think as Paul's documents and manuscript matured, Dad realized it was something that he no longer wanted to cooperate with. And Paul had been out to our home here in California and stayed with my wife and I, as he was doing his investigative work. And of any author, I think the amount of research that he did on the family and the root of Dad down there, were vast and it is a fascinating piece. And Paul blends fact and fiction and creates a story, so one has to interpret that. But I moved away from my relationship with Paul, at that time, when I realized the direction he was taking the book. And I actually wrote Paul said that I did not give permission to interviews in it. And that caused, as you can imagine, a real rift in our relationship, which we have subsequently healed.

SM (01:49:51):
Yeah, I think I interviewed him six years ago. I think something like that, so he is a pen.

CM (01:49:58):
Yeah. We are back in communication. I have always respected Paul. I always appreciated his writing. I think he is a great writer.

SM (01:50:10):
Yeah, he wrote a book on the South too.

CM (01:50:11):
Yeah.

SM (01:50:13):
Speaking of books, what books did you read when you were growing up, that had really an influence on you? And what did your dad and mom read?

CM (01:50:21):
Oh, my God. My dad's bookstand next to his bed was like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was just unbelievable. Off the top of [inaudible], my mom and dad had a huge appreciation for art and for music, so I grew up with a lot of art books, of the well-known world artists, and a lot of both concertos and orchestras and jazz music. So those are some of the early ones that I remember.

SM (01:51:16):
Yeah. And we all know that President Kennedy was really influenced by Michael Harrington's book, The Other America.

CM (01:51:23):
Right.

SM (01:51:24):
And of course, I assumed when I read that, I immediately had to read it and I did. It might be I have got a first edition of that book now.

CM (01:51:31):
I apologize [inaudible].

SM (01:51:33):
Yeah. And I had all your dad's books by the way.

CM (01:51:35):
Oh, congratulations.

SM (01:51:37):
And I have read all of them. I am a bibliophile. It has been many years since I read some of the earlier ones. I think we have gone over a little bit here. Can we have ten more minutes and then that will be it.

CM (01:51:53):
Let us stop at 10 [inaudible].

SM (01:51:54):
Yeah, because-

CM (01:51:55):
You have done a fantastic job. And I really feel honored to speak with you and to know the background that you have put into all of this.

SM (01:52:02):
Well, this is a first time effort for me. And I feel funny being saying I am an author because I have been a college administrator my whole life. But I love history and I am a bibliophile. I have about 10,000 books.

CM (01:52:15):
Good for you. I hope you got them well [inaudible].

SM (01:52:17):
Well, what I am planning on doing is creating a... I have talked to the Cazenovia College, which is a small school outside Casnovia, New York, where my parents met. And my parents went to school there in (19)39 to (19)41, before my dad went off to war. And I went to Sydney Binghamton as an undergrad and then I went to Ohio State to grad school, but I want to create a center for the city of the boomer generation there. And I am willing to give them all my books as long as they create a center, hire a professor to run it, and they will get all my tapes and they will get all my memorabilia. They will get everything, as long as they stamp my parents' name and all. I have the same feeling toward my parents that you do toward yours, because I owe everything to them and way beyond the fact that I would not be here without them. But they helped form me and shape me so-

CM (01:53:19):
Well, that is wonderful. That is very generous of you.

SM (01:53:20):
Well, I am hoping it is up to the university now to follow through and so we will see what happens. I got only really two more questions and one of them though, there is sections to it. These are quotes that have had effect on a lot of boomers in the generation. And I would just like your immediate responses to these quotes that were well known, particularly in the (19)60s and seventies. By Any Means Necessary by Malcolm X.

CM (01:53:56):
I understood it.

SM (01:53:59):
Do you think it symbolized taken, creating violence in your own hand? A lot of people-

CM (01:54:10):
Yeah. Here's how it resonated with me and how I acted upon it. As a 17-year-old, I left high school the winter of my [inaudible] year and worked in Harlem, at the Street Academy program that run by the Urban League. And I worked at Charles Evans Hughes High School on the lower West Side. I understood that quote. I understood what young blacks were going through and I tried to work within the system to bring change.

SM (01:54:43):
Okay. Two very important ones from that inaugural speech by President Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." And the second one that I think is equally important, because many people believe it was the precursor to everything that is followed, particularly in Vietnam, " We will bear any burden and pay any price for the guarantee of liberty and freedom." So, I am going to the full length of the quotes, but those are two very important quotes from JFK.

CM (01:55:12):
Yeah, they very much were. And the first one I remember fondly, because although I was not a Quaker, I was going to a Quaker school with two of my friends, so we would have Friday meetings as students, which was an assembly of quiet. And I remember standing up in one of the meetings and saying, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you do for your country." It was very profound. That was something that everybody knew. It was familiar. But it was moving and I thought I would share it, quiet meaning firm. And the other one is I think something that we lived by and it is a guiding light for us.

SM (01:56:03):
That is like a cold war. We're in the Cold War.

CM (01:56:08):
Yes.

SM (01:56:08):
Yeah. This is a quote from The Women's Movement and they use it as their central quote, "All politics is person."

CM (01:56:19):
I would agree very quickly, because to me what that means is that we all need to be engaged in politics. And politics as I have found in my own life, can be politics of the soil, of the land, politics of food, politics of health, politics of obesity, politics of social justice. I totally can.

SM (01:56:45):
How about, "I have a dream." Of course, we all know that was Dr. King.

CM (01:56:46):
I think that is both for societal as well as the individual folk.

SM (01:57:11):
And this is a paraphrasing of something that Muhammad Ali said, "I had no reason to go off to a war in Vietnam, and kill yellow people, when there is little care for black people on the home front."

CM (01:57:26):
Because of my personal experiences that I have related to, I understand.

SM (01:57:32):
Do you agree with that?

CM (01:57:34):
I do not agree with it. I understand-

SM (01:57:37):
Oh, okay.

CM (01:57:37):
... where it is coming from.

SM (01:57:40):
Yeah. "Tune in, turn on, drop out." Timothy Leary.

CM (01:57:45):
Certainly, part of my generation did not agree with it. Interestingly enough, I was back in Washington about two weeks ago and there in the National Art Gallery, I saw that theory in black and white photographic exhibit by Allen Kingsbury [inaudible].

SM (01:58:17):
And this is a quote that Bobby Kennedy used in his Indianapolis speech, which was a quote from another person from the 19th century, "Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?"

CM (01:58:38):
I think I have faith and I think both my friendship with [inaudible] parents have been [inaudible].

SM (01:58:48):
I mean, I am losing you. I cannot hear you.

CM (01:58:49):
I think from my friendship [inaudible]

SM (01:58:57):
Pressed it. Okay, and taping on two tape recorders. And of course, a lot of this is going to be about you, but it is also a lot on your dad too. You okay now?

CM (01:59:06):
I am ready to go.

SM (01:59:08):
How did you become who you are, with respect to talking about your growing up years before you went off to college? What was it like going to high school and those early influences? And of course, you can talk about your dad and mom at this time too.

CM (01:59:25):
So, are we focusing a little bit at the end of middle school and on to high school, or [inaudible] high school?

SM (01:59:34):
Basically high school.

CM (01:59:35):
My high school was a continuation of football friends who were in Washington DC, which for me was a remarkable experience, because I came from Ann Arbor, Michigan as a 10 year old and went to the elementary school with my friends. And I came into the school system with a reading problem, a significant dyslexia problem that, at that age, at that time, was not really well known. It was a large umbrella that covered many different parts of that learning disorder. So it was a lot of work for me. Getting to high school was a dynamic challenge. Sidwell Friends really did a remarkable job in assisting me and creating an environment that was very supportive. So, in ninth grade with all the excitement of sports and a solid education, I was really in tune. And a good friend of mine had left Sidwell Friends at the end of eighth grade. And I said, "Well, where did you go, Frank?" And he said, "Well, I went to this place called St. Paul's School." And what I did not realize was that he was prepared for this by his father and probably grandfather and it was a family tradition. And he said, "You got to try this. You got to try this." I said, "Well, what is this?" He said, "Well, it's the prep school. “I said, "I am really happy here at Sidwell Friends. I have got all my friends and sports." He said, "No. No. You got to try it." So, I left Sidwell at the end of ninth grade and went to St. Paul in [inaudible] for the remaining years of High School. It was a definite road not taken for me ever before. It was a very divergent road in my upbringing. My mom and dad had always raised us with a real foundation, I think, of social justice, of appreciation for, I am going to say the common good, the common man, for society. And I did not know what I was getting into in this interesting environment that St. Paul School provided. It was an incredibly challenging academic environment, especially for me. And it was the environment that, to be quite honest, myself, I was under prepared for and overwhelmed by. So what one normally does is learn how to compensate. My compensation was through my communication with people and my endeavors in on the athletics field. So those were the areas that I really excelled in and had a very, very difficult time struggling at Camp Cedar.

SM (02:02:43):
What years were you there?

CM (02:02:46):
That is a good question. I think that I began that school in 1965.

SM (02:02:49):
Okay.

CM (02:02:54):
And I moved with the years. I was born in (19)50, so in (19)65, I would have been 15, and I graduated from St. Paul's, 1969.

SM (02:03:08):
Yeah. What was it like growing up as your home base? Because your dad was working for President Kennedy and while your father was Secretary of Defense from (19)61 to (19)67, before he headed off to the World Bank, what was it like? In all of these roles that he played, did you feel there was any pressure that your dad was a very... They called him one the best and the brightest, as David Halberstan had written in his book. Did you ever feel that when you had that visible a person like your dad, who was very accomplished that you could not meet his standards and you were trying to? Or did you just want to get away to find your own identity?

CM (02:03:58):
You have covered a broad brush of ideas with the- A broad brush of ideas with the suggestions there. So let us look at them one by one. Pressures that a son feels from his father or a child feels from their parents. There cannot be anything more traditional than that. And so, yes, of course I really did have felt that throughout my life. And it's a wonderful realization at certain times in your life when you realize you can appreciate what your parents have done, appreciate leadership that they have provided in this case to their country, to their families, to their children. But yes, I felt a tremendous struggle that at times I was age appropriately unaware of. But let me just go back to the first feelings of moving to Washington DC. You have got to understand, I was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but my whole connection was with nature from riding bikes to making dams, creeks, to building tree houses that have been out all day long with my mom whistling the special family whistle to let me know that dinner was ready. My life in the fifties and early (19)60s, one of edible connection with this dynamic course, which ultimately has changed my life, which is nature in food system. So coming to Washington DC was, I was an excited kid. I was 10 years old and slammed a little bit with this learning issue, but I took that instead. And my mom worked night and day literally with me. I can remember both of us kind of weeping together over my inability to do homework, but it just kind of did it. But then there was the other side of Washington, which was the new frontier, the Camelot, the excitement of this credible young president, family and cabinet. And they were called to serve the cabinet members and their families were called to serve. So, I remember, I have fond memories of things that today are magical. They truly are magic moments that reflect back to your book that I knew they were special, but I did not know how special they were. Joining President Kennedy at Camp David, remembering being in the living room study of what seemed like a log cabin. It was a very understated building that the president at that time lived in at Camp David and seeing him at ease in his rocking chair, and Emily, I remember attending in the White House, the first showing of PT-109.

SM (02:07:07):
Oh my gosh. Cliff Robertson.

CM (02:07:10):
Sitting on the floor and the president was on, I think a shade or some sort of seating. And together with all of the Robert Kennedy family and present family, it was an easy, wonderful relationship. And taking off from the White House, Rose Garden or wherever the helicopters take off from as a 11 or 12 year old, it was so questionable. But it just seemed, it was part of life's fabric. I am trying to describe this incredible feeling. I am putting my two hands together because on one hand it was reality and another hand it was far removed from anything that I will ever live again.

SM (02:08:11):
What's interesting, and I can remember reading your dad's book In Retrospect, in the sections where he talks about the family, which he did quite often throughout the book. And he mentioned that the University of Michigan that you talked about and he wanted to live in a university environment and not in some rich suburb. Well, and I thought that was, he really had his head on his shoulders and obviously it was probably very impressionable and important for him with respect to his family. And that is where you got your love for nature.

CM (02:08:39):
It really did. And it teased out throughout our lives in the sense that in one respect, my dad must have been the first commuter because Ann Arbor from Dearborn where he worked, I do not know in that day and age how many minutes it was maybe 45 or 50 or an hour. And so he made that decision to have the intellectual capacity of living in a university town and back to my image here of nature, of living in an area that was not economically oriented. And he would drive home the new models, whether it was the T-bird or eventually the Edel or whatever.

SM (02:09:29):
He drove an Edel home.

CM (02:09:29):
Yeah. Whatever the new model was and would test drive them. And the other thing that my dad and mom always emphasized was a time for us as a family to be together and typically being that he truly was a workaholic, it would be on a vacation in the Sierra Mountain because mom and dad grew up in the Bay area of California and the Sierras were so important to them and to their generation. We would as a family, actually part of the family. Dad would be working in Michigan, mom and my two sisters and I would head out in the summertime in the old station wagon and drive to the eastern slope of the Deer, Nevada. Up with their college friends and families. And we would launch a two week trip, initially packed trip with mules into the Sierras. These were the most wonderful experiences of my life. Campfires and was sating off of snowbank into crystal clear lakes and catching fish. My mom was a tremendous fisher woman and taught me how to fish and wild fish...

SM (02:10:58):
She was quite accomplished too.

CM (02:11:00):
She was a remarkable...

SM (02:11:03):
Reading about her and her background. And she passed away in (19)81, I believe.

CM (02:11:07):
She did. She had mesothelioma cancer around the throat. It was told to us that she would have an 11-month life and she lived 11 months. But she was one of the greatest sources of inspiration, I think for my father. She was the greatest source of love and inspiration for me and our family. Just an absolutely down to earth, remarkable human being.

SM (02:11:39):
She was involved with a group organization called Reading Is Fundamental. I think your sister has been somewhat linked to that too, but it's a nonprofit children's literacy organization. Was that based on the fact of your experiences with her as a young child?

CM (02:11:54):
I think it was three. Certainly, it was the experience that she and I shared of how difficult it is for some children. Secondly, coming to the nation's capital and realizing that the literacy rate was so poor and that was wrong. And thirdly, as my dad felt the story when meeting with President Kennedy said, okay, when he brought the cabinet wives together, your husbands are going to be under tremendous amount of pressure and work, and I want you to do something meaningful for yourself, for society. So it was kind of those three or four things. And I am so proud of my mom. She started this program. Reading Is Fundamental out of a mobile unit, book mobiles. They would go around to schools and have school children come on board and pick out a free book, start a library in families where there were no books. And that has grown into a global network, it is remarkable.

SM (02:12:59):
Is your sister linked to that in some way?

CM (02:13:01):
My older sister, Margie, is on the board of RIF.

SM (02:13:04):
Okay, very good. Yeah. And I guess President Carter awarded her the Medal of Freedom too.

CM (02:13:11):
Which was an outstanding recognition of my mom's dedication to our [inaudible] side.

SM (02:13:24):
Getting back to that time when your dad was Secretary of Defense, what memories do you have wherever you were location wise about the people that David Halberstam often describes in his book, The Best and The Brightest? Your dad was part of this group, and what are your memories when, and I have got about seven or eight things here that were very important during or pretty big during your dad's reign and at Secretary of Defense. The inaugural speech of John Kennedy, where were you and how did that speech influence you in any way?

CM (02:14:00):
Oh, I am so glad that you have brought that up and reminded me of that. That whole experience began for me when dad's came home from work one day and said, well, what would you think of moving to Washington DC? Now you're talking now, I was 10 years old. And I said, well Dad, do not worry about that because we're not going to do that. I have got my friends here, we have got the tree house, we have got all of what we so enjoyed here. And he said, well, I have been asked by the president prominent to be a part of his cabinet. And the rest of that story is history. Obviously, he went out and I did not. But I do remember my mom and dad had gone to Washington in preparation for the inaugural and my older sisters and I were to fly out to be part of the day that you were mentioning here. And it was an icy winter ice storm as I recall. And I was the one in charge of the alarm clock to wake up. My sisters, now remember, they're teenagers and I am 10 years old. And I was worried that if I were to wake them up, they were going to get really angry with me for waking them up. So I think we were a little late getting to the airport, got to Washington, picked up by a limo. Now this is something I had never even dreamed of being in one or certainly had never ridden. This was very exciting. And I recall being in the audience, looking up at the cabinet behind him on the Capitol, just watching Robert Frost and just being in the palm of something of God's hands in a very, very special way. And then the day, I do not remember how it totally unfolded, but I do remember in the reviewing stand in front of the White House, whatever that was, in 1960 and after it was very different than what they do today. And I think by that time it was a chilly day, very chilly but sunshine as I recall. And I remember the cabinet coming past in their cars that were convertibles, I think open-top. And I remember my mom and dad in their car and dad had what? Remind me the name of the hat. The Stove Pipe Cap?

SM (02:16:31):
Oh, Abraham Lincoln's Hose Cap.

CM (02:16:33):
Abraham Lincoln. And I recall saying, shouting out to my dad, dad, you look really great out there. And then they went on, I am looking at my office wall right now because I am looking at a picture of them at one of the inaugural balls that they attended. And my dad in a tux and my mom in a ball gown with their gloves and everything. Quite a remark.

SM (02:17:05):
Yeah, I think President Kennedy, there is pictures of him wearing that kind of a hat too.

CM (02:17:09):
Oh, absolutely.

SM (02:17:09):
Yeah. And of course that was a very cold day. You remember the president was speaking, you see the breath when he was speaking? It was, but it was a great speech. I remember it was a cold day.

CM (02:17:22):
Can you hold one second?

SM (02:17:39):
Yes.

CM (02:17:39):
[inaudible] So I get lots of men coming by looking for work.

SM (02:17:46):
A couple of the other events, and you will remember what maybe your dad talking about it at the table or conversing, the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis because those are two very big events.

CM (02:17:57):
They are indeed. My memories of those... This wrapped into a much larger part of my life. And that is that, as you can imagine from my earlier comments, dad kept his work very separate from my life and actually throughout our life, whether because we're talking kind of early teen right now, 12, 13, 14. But as I became a late teenager and all the way through my life, it was something that dad just chose not to share, not to talk about, not to engage in. I think it was painful. I think he was trying to be protective. Was it right or wrong on his part? I do not think I can apply that sort of rationale. Did it ultimately help me? No, it did not. But to get back to specifically your question about the missile crisis, I do recall that much more fervently than Bay of Pig. Dad would come home from work say eight o'clock. And he always sat on the same part of the couch. He would always have his hand on the coffee table to the left where the lamp was. He would typically be reading the paper. And in his hand, on the coffee table was this beautiful walnut plaque. And there is some imagery here because I am a walnut grower, this walnut plaque that probably measured four inches by four inches and on top of the plaque was the most beautiful silver gallon, just a little piece of silver with the month of October, 1962, with the critical dates of the Cuban Missile Crisis embedded deeper in the silver gallon. And I remember my dad just kind of, his hand would be on that. And it was as if it was braille, as if the digit of his finger were rereading, recognizing the potential devastation of our world, had the United States launched their weapon.

SM (02:20:32):
Wow.

CM (02:20:32):
I have that memory emblazoned in my mind. That stayed with us forever.

SM (02:20:44):
Now that was a scary moment as we all watched President Kennedy on TV that night. And of course we all remember Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. I am going to wait for your reply until hell freezes over. I will never forget it. I am only a little older than you, so of course. So a few more here. The Gulf of Tonkin on Vietnam, obviously in 1964, a lot has been written about that. Your thoughts on that as well as the protests on college campuses that went throughout the time that he was Secretary of Defense and of course the big one. There were two at the Pentagon and then the one in 1967 where they levitated supposedly the Pentagon. And in the 1965 one, which I am going to come back to later, where the man burned himself to death, just anything really linking to Vietnam.

CM (02:21:43):
Well, let me remind us that I was 14, 1964. Maybe 14 year olds today are a little more worldly in their global understanding than I was. So those memories are more In Retrospect, my reflections on those [inaudible] as I awaken to Vietnam. My personal awaken occurred closer to 1966, (19)67, I am going to say. There again, I was had in [inaudible]. One of my dear friends who was going to be the president of the school, had created a teaching about Vietnam. Now think of this is high school. So he was 17, this is Rick King. And he had invited professors, I believe from the Boston area and maybe Dartmouth speaking. I said, well now wait a minute, Rick. At that point I still said, there must be a reason that we were in Vietnam. And I remember standing in a phone booth, we do not have phone booths anymore, but I was standing in a phone booth from school and talking with dad, dad going to be a teacher, is there any material that you can send me to justify the war in Vietnam? And it just occurred while I am speaking with you on the phone, why it was that no materials arrived. I think at that point I realized there was no justification for us to be there. It did not dawn on me then, but the materials never arrived, the teaching occurred. And that was a rite of passage. And I remember later on I am 19, being in social events in Washington DC in the backyard of a friends' house in Georgetown and the decision makers, I will put them in one category, decision makers, my father and other decision makers saying, well, you just have not read enough about this issue, but you do not really know what you are talking about. And yet we knew very intuitively and from our small world exposure that Vietnam War would not go forth.

SM (02:24:20):
Yeah. I interviewed Dr. Henry Graff, the former professor at Columbia University on Monday, and he did the Tuesday cabinet book about Tuesday cabinet meetings where your dad and top people on foreign policy would meet with President Johnson every Tuesday.

CM (02:24:40):
Yes.

SM (02:24:40):
And he had chances to talk to your dad four times. And he talked to him just before he was leaving in (19)67 as well. Johnson gave him full access to the cabinet. And he was, what is interesting is when I talked to him about the gatherings of these people, it was known early on the McGeorge Bundy, even in his book says he was against the war from the get-go way back in (19)64. And I know that Bill Moyers was against the war himself, and he was only there for three years working with the President Johnson. And then your dad had misgivings about the war for a long time. And I asked Dr. Graff, here you have Secretary Defense, McNamara. McGeorge Bundy was the special assistant, I forget his full title. And you had his press secretary, Bill Moyers against the war. President Johnson kept going on. And Dr. Graff, you have to understand, these men kept their differences behind closed doors and they showed that they were loyal. And that is what the kind of people that President Johnson wanted around him.

CM (02:25:52):
Well, that is such an important point that you brought up loyalty because something to my dad always referred to. And I would ask him on those rare occasions that particularly after the fact when he was at the World Bank and finally came out with his book, In Retrospect said, why could not you have addressed it? Why could not you have spared yourself and our nation so much anguish, sorrow and grief? And said several things. One is that he was an appointed cabinet senator that he did, he was not elected. Felt that it was his duty and his loyalty to serve the President in the best capacity that he could. And then I think that there is an evolution in people's, like these thought processes and lives that allow them to come to grace, come to some sort of understanding. And thank God he did. I mean, I do not know many other people in his situation who have publicly and privately said, I made a mistake and I would like us, I would like myself to learn from this mistake. And maybe history can use these, that is so [inaudible], so accurately developed in fog of war, which by the way, I think every high school [inaudible].

SM (02:27:22):
Well, I agree. I have a copy of it. I think it's a classic. And I agree with what you say about your dad because one of the issues, I was in higher education for almost 30 some years, and very few people are willing to ever admit they make a mistake. And it is a sign of a true leader when they do because they become vulnerable. And then they start questioning, what happened to your dad? Why did not you do this before you left in 1967? Here is another criticism of your dad. Why was it that when you left, and I remember the scene, it is actually can see it on YouTube where the President is the going away there when he was very emotional. And he did not really say that because he did not agree with the President. I know he did not. And then some people said, well, he went off to Aspen to ski and he was responsible for the desk of so many people on the wall. So, there is so many perceptions, but you are kind of like, you are damned if you do, or damned if you do not kind of a...

CM (02:28:25):
Well, I think what you say is accurate and about his welling up and being very emotional and actually very interesting because from that point on, he probably would never admit that. But I think he suffered significantly from a posttraumatic stress syndrome that, believe it or not, I think I suffered from too in the sense that the event of Vietnam were so distraught, disturbing to our nation personally. You mentioned the [inaudible] person igniting themselves in front of the Pentagon. Those events are so dark, so traumatic, I do not think one ever recovers from them. And you cannot control them. You cannot control when those emotions. That is a significant damage to one [inaudible] character. And you cannot suppress that. As good as certain people are and my father was one of the best at compartmentalizing parts of his life, that went deep into all parts of his life. I do not think for the rest of his life, he could actually control them.

SM (02:29:48):
One of the things that upset so many of the Boomer generation that because TV was very important, black and white television and the news is when your dad gave those weekly reports on the numbers killed. And many believed he was lying because those reports concluded dead animals and all the other things just to please the President. But what is interesting when he wrote, In Retrospect, I have two anecdotes. My very first interview, because I started this project way back in (19)96, as it said in my letter there, and I met with Senator McCarthy. And one of the questions during my meeting when Senator Eugene McCarthy was, what do you think of the new book out by Robert McNamara? And I have to listen to it again to get the exact quote, but he is a little too late. A little too late. And he was very upset. And he said, let us go on the next question. So that was his response. And then I have pictures at the Vietnam Memorial because I have been going to the Vietnam Memorial since 1994 for veterans and Memorial Day to pay my respects. And in about the year that In Retrospect came out, I will never forget it, there were two copies of... In fact, I can look it up and send it to you on the computer. There were two copies of your dad's book that had bullet holes through it. And very bad words underneath the book. So the feelings were still there. And then when I go to the wall many times, I do not get there as much now, but there is three names that always come up that were the bad people. And yeah, it depends, if it is the veterans talking, it is Jane Fonda who they cannot stand for obvious reasons. And then they mentioned your dad and Henry Kissinger. Yeah, those three. But then if it is the anti-war people, it is not Jane Fonda, it is your dad, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. And they throw a little bit of Agnew in there, but they do not say a whole lot about LBJ because of his great to society. So, those are just some anecdotes I wanted to share. Why did you drop out of Stanford?

CM (02:32:04):
Oh, largely because of my disenfranchisement with this remarkable country that I do love tremendously. And that was 1971 of the winter. And I just realized that having, I personally lived very close to the man who was Secretary of Defense during the lead up of Vietnam said, getting back to these wounds, whether you want to call it post-traumatic stress syndrome or whatever, that I needed to rediscover my country, that I needed to reinvest in my country. I needed to reinvest in myself. And the only way I could do that was somehow get a new vision of the beauty of the springs, of our people, of our country. And the way I did that was to begin a journey to South America. And I began that with a few friends. And we traveled through Central America learning Spanish along the way, and eventually arriving in Columbia where my two friends decided to say that their travel journey was over and mine was not. And I continued on that point all the way down to [inaudible], spending another year and a half on the road in the more formidable part of that journey for me was working on as a farmhand. I worked with some modern Indians, I worked with Julian dairy farmers, I worked with hay growers, produce people. I worked on fishing boats. And I was immersed in something that, it completely resonated for me. It was food production. And for me, it brought together two worlds that I thought were very divergent at that time. One was the political world that I had somewhat grown up in. The other was the early world that my parents had shown me, which was that of the garden of... My fondest childhood memories of being with my dad, mom in the garden with him picking a fresh tomato and putting a little salt on it, taking a big bite, the juice, rolling down his cheeks. My mom picking asparagus, cutting roses... Picking asparagus, cutting roses to bring into our kitchen table. Those two worlds, the early ones and the mid ones, the land and the politics, to me were married in food production. I realized, after two and a half years on the road, I had no education. I had worked a little bit, but I had no education. I wanted to formalize that, and went to UC Davis, to study plant and soil sciences, knowing in the beginning that I wanted to come out and eventually farm.

SM (02:35:35):
Wow. What a story. Were your parents worried about you being so far away?

CM (02:35:43):
They must have been absolutely worried, for many, many reasons. Just let me remind you, I arrived in Santiago, Chile in the early days of September, 1971, and that was the anniversary of Salvador Allende being the first elected socialist president in Chile.

SM (02:36:06):
Wow.

CM (02:36:09):
Dad, being the head of the World Bank at that time, certainly knew of the difficulties that were occurring in Chile, and probably could, in his own mind, forecast how the future may unfold. I know my mom was very worried about my wellbeing, and of course, there was no communication. Just in terms of getting mail, my parents would send a letter to an embassy, that was the only way I could get mail. I think I called them infrequently, maybe every six months, something like that. It's so interesting now to have children who are texting, and messaging, and emailing, and phoning, and the tree of communications today, and the different level of communication.

SM (02:37:08):
One of the big things that was in the news around the mid-(19)60s was the fact that Governor Rockefeller's son was` down in Brazil, and disappeared.

CM (02:37:21):
He did, I recall that.

SM (02:37:21):
That was really big in the news. Of course, he was down there to help people.

CM (02:37:24):
I do not know if you have seen the movie "Missing," about the coup in Chile. It is a very powerful movie, and to be quite honest, my story could have been similar to that story.

SM (02:37:42):
Wow. I am going to get back to your work with the farm in a couple of minutes here, but correct me if I am ever repeating anything, because I have got a series of questions here I have in order. I do a lot of thinking before I do my interviews.

CM (02:37:54):
I know you do. I saw you put in a great deal of research.

SM (02:37:58):
Everyone is different, and some are some general questions.

CM (02:38:02):
It makes it fun and interesting and insightful for you and for the person you are interviewing, and potentially for the people reading the book.

SM (02:38:09):
I want to reach students and high school students, college students with this as well as the general public, because I want people to understand where people come from, and to show a little respect for people who they may agree or disagree with. I do not have a whole lot of tolerance for intolerance at times. I understand that you were against the war that your dad ran. Did you have any major discussions with him at different times about the war, and your differences, and did he listen? Was there a major generation gap between you and your parents, and how about your two sisters and the parents?

CM (02:38:49):
Well, as I mentioned before, Dad in certain ways was a master at compartmentalizing. I think he felt, in his own vision as a parent of the (19)60s, that he needed in some way to protect his son and his children, and he did that by not engaging in conversation-

SM (02:39:10):
Okay.

CM (02:39:11):
About Vietnam. The only time I would glean information on that front would be if I had a friend who was well versed in the topic, and that friend was trying to engage Dad in conversation. That was when I could open the window to some of his thoughts on that, and that continued throughout his life. Here is the bottom line between a father and a son: we never lost love for one another. We never lost respect for one another. I give my mom tremendous credit for being the conduit of love and communication, because that is a natural way to [inaudible]. So many families, and .so many of my peers lost their relationship to their father at that time, and never healed. I have friends coming up to me and saying, to my dad's dying day we never were able to pick up that phone. What a sad misstep and what was the other part of it?

SM (02:40:17):
Yeah. Was there any difference between how your dad dealt with you and your two sisters?

CM (02:40:22):
I do not think so. My sisters are nine and six years older than I am. It really was quite, they were well off to college and beyond as I was growing up. But I know that they did not engage either on that topic. Now let me get to the issue of did my relationship as son of my father affect him, his decision making? It would be very egotistical of me to say yes. And yet I do believe that my choice of life and the direction that I have taken in life very much affected him, in fact. I think the fact that my sisters and I had friends who were very involved in leading the anti-war movement was insightful and impacted on him. He just did not let it be known.

SM (02:41:21):
We talked about the qualities of admitting, making a mistake and the regrets and so forth, but was there ever a feeling on the part of you or your sisters or maybe even your mom that if you have a problem with president Johnson over a policy just resign?
CM (02:41:43):
Well, I think most of my reflections on that are afterthought there again, just the age that I was during then. I would say absolutely my father is a man of tremendous integrity. And so I think you or I of this generation would say, well, if you feel differently, then you owe it to yourself, number one to your family and your nation. You demonstrate disagreement by resigning. And I just cannot put myself in his shoes and know what he felt about that. He goes back to this loyalty, which I think his generation must have had a different parameter and definition than I might.

SM (02:42:38):
Just in your own words, could you please, if someone were to come up to you like a high school student and you walk in and someone were to come up to you and say, "Who was Robert McNamara?" And you would describe your father or the leader, or how would you describe him to someone or particularly a young person? And also how would you describe your mom? Because I think your mom is very important here. She's very important in history and they are a team, in my opinion. I look at this, I see a twosome that became one. That is what marriage is supposed to be about. And just so in, how would you define both of them?

CM (02:43:20):
Well, individually first, right?

SM (02:43:22):
Yes.

CM (02:43:24):
I would respond to the question coming from a high school student or another person about who my father was as a very bright man and who truly loved humankind. A man who, well, one, he wanted the best or of both is deeply divided. The seven years that my father spent as Secretary of Defense determined the rest of his life. He lived, 1980 to the year 2009, lived another 29 years. Well, actually the time that he left Defense, (19)78, so that is (19)78, (19)88, (19)98, another 40 years to his life. And during those 40 years, his true ambition for the betterment of mankind and society came forward, advanced. He was able to advance that in such a significant way. And very, very few people in the United States understand that perspective. And I think that that is a tragedy, a loss. He was defined by Vietnam, and yet his defining moment during the next 40 years.

SM (02:45:26):
I think what you just said is very important. Craig, I will let you continue here in a second. Because as a person who believes in student development and believes in human development, and we tell students in college or that hopefully they learn this, that you are constantly evolving as a human being and it does not stop until the day you die.

CM (02:45:46):
Exactly. And in the case of a leader, it's our society's nature to pigeonhole them to a time of their lives, of greatness or of tremendous loss. And he has been defined by the latter.

SM (02:46:13):
How about your mom?

CM (02:46:18):
My mom, as my dad had said, was one of God's loveliest creatures. She had a sparkle in her eye. She had very, very beautiful blue eyes, which I inherited many things from my mom. My eyes, my name Craig was her maiden name. And I am so honored have my name Craig be in more of the Latin tradition where the mother also shares her name with the offspring. I am so happy to have the name Craig. And I am so moved and touched by her spirit and her connection to Mother Nature. She gifted that to me. It is something that you were very generous commenting on in your letter, our phone call, that is something that I have explored my whole life. And in terms of the educational programs we currently offer to do across California, it is the foundation. It is my foundation. It is what I do, my own family. It is what I do for students in California as the farm.

SM (02:47:38):
And you lead me right into the question, if someone to ask, who is Robert Craig McNamara?

CM (02:47:49):
Robert Craig McNamara is a reflection of both of his parents, both my parents and a person who has been moved and affected by the history that I have lived true. So although I did not serve in Vietnam, I certainly have been very affected by that. It is a part of me every day and my goals have been to really help making this world a better place for the individuals.

SM (02:48:50):
Did you feel that when you were in that one year at Stanford and maybe your junior and senior in high school, that any of your fellow students got on you for being the son of the person who was running the Vietnam War?

CM (02:49:02):
Absolutely. It was always on my mind. It was always in something that I had to demonstrate who I was, myself. It was a life altering pressure on me that I had to find out who I really was and be that honest person myself. And yes, I actually felt that in a certain way, that it was remarkable that people allowed me to be who I was and I did not get spit on, it did not take a [inaudible], or become violent. Because I know how frustrated I have been over our decision to go to war in Iraq, decision go to war today. I know the dark side of feelings against our leaders. So, I can imagine it how people must have felt about me that I was embodiment of my father, but I am not.

SM (02:50:28):
Right.

CM (02:50:30):
And I want to move this forward for one second. Dad was asked to come to UC Berkeley-

SM (02:50:38):
And Craig, could you speak up just a little bit, too?

CM (02:50:39):
Yeah. Dad was asked to come to UC Berkeley and I thought it before the Fog of War, but you may help me out here, may be before, in retrospect. And he came to Zellerbach Hall, which the largest hall in Berkeley. And he said he had never been back to Berkeley, it is his Alma mater, in many, many years. He certainly could not come back during the war years because he would have been protested against. And I think because of his World Bank experience and other experiences, he just had not been back. This was a beloved place for him. Because memories of meeting my mom and being a student at Berkeley. So, he was asked to come to Berkeley to speak on a retrospect for the Fog of War and it was packed. The auditorium was absolutely back to the audience outside. And I was very fearful for his life. And this was recently, this was within the last 10 years. And I felt very on edge in terms of reading the room, reading the audience, and if there was going to be any violent movement towards him, which is pretty remarkable for me to feel that at this point in my life or in our lives. And to be quite honest, his presence and his participation and his, at that point, transparency and honesty, I think really was received by the audience and was warmly responded-they may have totally just not liked him, but they appreciated the moment.

SM (02:52:33):
Yeah. Well I know Bobby Mueller and Bobby Mueller was on several panels with your dad over the last 10 years I believe. And here is a man who came back from Vietnam, very disenchanted. And Bobby was one of the people that said when he came back, he realized that Vietnam, or excuse me, that America is not always the good guy. Yet he could be on the stage with your dad and I know he respected your dad. So that says a lot when Bobby can say really nice things about some of the things that happened to him during that time.

CM (02:53:07):
This is Bobby Mueller?

SM (02:53:08):
Yeah, Bobby Mueller.

CM (02:53:09):
And did he serve in Vietnam?

SM (02:53:11):
Yeah, he was the founder of Vietnam Veterans of America.

CM (02:53:16):
Yeah.

SM (02:53:19):
And I believe if you go into YouTube you will see your dad being interviewed by that professor. It is a show that they had and it is a tremendous interview. It is an hour and 10 minutes.

CM (02:53:31):
That is a great one. Do you remember the year of that?

SM (02:53:34):
It had to be the time that he went probably for this speech because he talked about it in retrospect, he was not there.

CM (02:53:40):
It was retrospect. Yeah.

SM (02:53:42):
Yeah. It was not for Fog of War. I would like your comments here. I am up to this point where after Norman Morrison, a Quaker father of three, burned himself only 40 feet from your dad's window at the Pentagon on November 2nd of (19)65. Your dad states in the book, this is very important. " I knew Marge" is it Marge?

CM (02:54:02):
Margie

SM (02:54:04):
"I knew Margie and our three children shared many of Morrison's feelings about the war, as did the wives and children of several of my cabinet colleagues. And I believed I understood and shared some of his thoughts." The war, I cannot read my writing here, it was much more, "this was much more Marge and I and the children should have talked about. Yet at moments like this, I often turned inward instead. It was a grave weakness. The episode created tension at home that only deepened as dissent and criticism of the war continued to grow."

CM (02:54:51):
Absolutely. Absolutely.

SM (02:54:54):
And that was in the mid (19)90s when he wrote in retrospect, or early (19)90s.

CM (02:55:04):
So the touching reflection there is that he held that inside of him for all those years. If he could have brought that forward in a memoir earlier, I think it would have provided some healing for us, for our nation. Not a mea culpa that is gone. When you let something fester for 25 years, it is just insurmountable. I am proud of him for coming to that point in his life. And I wished for all of us, for me, for our nation, for the Vietnamese, for the men and women of the United States died and served. For everybody who was touched globally by Vietnam. I wish my father had been able.

SM (02:55:57):
Right. Hold on one second. My door here.

(End of Interview)

Date of Interview

9/30/10

Interviewer

Stephen McKiernan

Interviewee

Craig McNamara

Biographical Text

Craig McNamara is the son of Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense during the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson administrations. He is the President and owner of Sierra Orchards, a diversified farming operation producing organic walnuts and olive oil. He also serves as founder and president of the Center For Land-Based Learning, an innovative program, which assists high school students in building greater human and social capital in their communities. McNamara currently is the President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. He has a Bachelor's degree in Plant and Soil Science from the University of California, Davis.

Duration

3:01:44

Language

English

Digital Publisher

Binghamton University Libraries

Digital Format

audio/mp4

Material Type

Sound

Interview Format

Audio

Subject LCSH

United States. Department of Defense. Office of the Secretary of Defense;
McNamara, Robert S., 1916-2009--Interviews

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Keywords

Vietnam War; College protests; Anti-war; Environmentalism; Criticism of war; Baby boom generation; Nineteen sixties; Activism.

Files

mckiernanphotos - McNamara - Craig.jpg

Item Information

About this Collection

Collection Description

Stephen McKiernan's collection of interviews includes more than two hundred interviews with prominent figures of the 1960s, which were collected between the mid-1990s and 2010s. The collection provides narratives of people who were actively involved in or witnessed events in the 1960s, an era which spurred profound cultural and… More

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Citation

“Interview with Craig McNamara,” Digital Collections, accessed June 17, 2024, https://omeka.binghamton.edu/omeka/items/show/1175.