Robert McNamara (1916-2009)

Robert McNamara, one of the most powerful men of the twentieth century, has died aged 93. He is best known for having served as US Defence Secretary during the Vietnam War, but he has been at the top of the pyramid of power for close to 40 years in: the private sector (President of Ford Motor Company); government (US Defence Secretary for JFK and LBJ); and even in the intergovernmental sector (President of the World Bank from 1968-1981). To my knowledge he has nothing to do with photography, but in 2004 Errol Morris made a brilliant documentary on McNamara's life entitled the Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert McNamara. In anyone else's hands this could have been an extraordinarily boring film. But Morris caught McNamara at a late stage in life, and, by using an interview technology that he designed (the Interrotron), Morris succeeded in getting McNamara to reveal the growing cracks in his armour. For anyone that has an interest in the history of the twentieth century, this is a must-see.