Gothamist is not the biggest fan of Chris Matthews and Hardball (we may be used to shouting, but Hardball makes our ears bleed), but we do recommend watching it tonight for Matthews's exclusive interview with former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. McNamara, who served under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and was involved with the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War, is the subject of the new documentary, Fog of War, by Errol Morris. Gothamist saw this film at the New York Film Festival last year and it was the best thing we saw there as well. It was fascinating to learn more about a man who tends to be reviled in two or three sentences in your high school social studies textbooks: He was an adviser during World War II (showing more "efficient" fire bombing could be); he helped develop the first seatbelts for Ford, later becoming president of the company; and he had a far more complex relationship with President Johnson than many suspected.
The Fog of War site has an interesting lesson plan (PDF) for teachers that acts as a great way for anyone to brush up on their history.
Robert McNamara's bio from the Department of Defense. An interview CNN did with him in 1996 for their Cold War series. The Village Voice on Errol Morris's process for making Fog of War.
Fog of War is playing at these NY theaters.