McNamara, Morris and 'The Fog of War'

A Chat with the Filmmaker Who Kept the Defense Chief Talking

Filmmaker Errol Morris

Filmmaker Errol Morris Sumaya Agha/Sony Pictures Entertainment hide caption

itoggle caption Sumaya Agha/Sony Pictures Entertainment
Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara

Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara Claire Folger/Sony Pictures Entertainment hide caption

itoggle caption Claire Folger/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Robert S. McNamara became famous as the Secretary of Defense who directed much of the Vietnam War. He was a former auto executive and one of the great minds of his generation — a man who sought to bring order and reason to the chaos of war.

Three decades later, McNamara wrote a book that was seen as a kind of apology for the disasters of Vietnam. But filmmaker Errol Morris was convinced that McNamara still had something more to say. He persuaded McNamara to sit down for a series of interviews that became a documentary: The Fog of War.

Morris — whose previous work includes The Thin Blue Line and the TV series First Person — tells NPR's Steve Inskeep he sought to capture history through the eyes of one man. In this case, a man whose imprint on the 20th century includes the World War II firebombing of Tokyo, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War.

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