Dereliction of duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the lies that led to Vietnam

The roles played by the president's closest advisers - McGeorge Bundy, Dean Rusk, George Ball, Maxwell Taylor, and especially Robert McNamara - in the decisions to escalate American involvement are central to the story. And the reasons behind those decisions - now exposed - challenge McNamara's claim that American policy makers were prisoners of the ideology of the containment of Communism and therefore should be absolved of responsibility for the final outcome. The book also reveals for the first time how the virtual exclusion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the decision-making process exacerbated the problem.