From war to walnuts, Craig McNamara reconciles his relationship with his father in memoir

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When Craig McNamara dropped out of Stanford, he spent the next two years on the road, traveling and working the land before buying a walnut farm in Northern California, where he uses regenerative practices. Photo by Malika Lewis.

Craig McNamara and his father couldn't have been more different. As the secretary of defense under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert McNamara was the prime architect of America's Vietnam War policy. Craig, who came of age in the late 1960s, had a different point of view. He attended anti-war protests and, after failing his draft board physical, dropped out of Stanford University and spent time in South America. There, he discovered a passion for working the land. 

When he returned to the United States, he bought a walnut farm in Northern California. He has made it his life's work to practice and advocate for restorative farming. He has also spent years grappling with his father's legacy, nowhere more eloquently than in his recent memoir, "Because Our Fathers Lied: A Memoir of Truth and Family, from Vietnam to Today."

The memoir "Because Our Fathers Lied" chronicles the relationship between Craig McNamara and his father, one of the architects of the Vietnam War. Photo courtesy of Little, Brown and Company.