Mary's Reviews > Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War

Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin
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it was amazing
bookshelves: history, young-adult, book-club

"Most Dangerous" was my choice for our book group to read. I was tentative about choosing it because it is classified as a Young Adult book. This is somewhat of an issue because the writing style is simpler than what you would expect in an adult non-fiction, but Sheinkin does an excellent job of telling the very complex story in a comprehensible manner, with several pages of end notes and sources. For students, this is an excellent example of research.
For many of us, the names in the book may be familiar--Henry Kissinger, Daniel Ellsberg, Robert McNamara, and General Westmoreland--but their roles in one of the most tumultuous times in American history are often forgotten. I was in high school and college when the events covered in the book occurred. I was fairly well aware of current events at the time, but many aspects of this story were new to me.
Sheinkin pieces together the history of our actions in Vietnam and the rising discontent with the war. The infamous Plumbers unit that worked out of the White House for Nixon make an appearance. Daniel Ellsberg's tortured journey from dedicated Department of Defense analyst to leaker of the Pentagon Papers is woven through the history of the time, giving us an understanding of how one of the most important court cases concerning freedom of the press developed.
Although the story took place almost fifty years ago, it is still highly relevant. Sheinkin ends the book with a chapter on Edward Snowden and current concerns about government secrecy.
This is a riveting story, thoroughly researched and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
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Quotes Mary Liked

Steve Sheinkin
“They were willing to send men and women to death to avoid being called losers.”
Steve Sheinkin, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
tags: war

Steve Sheinkin
“The security of the nation is not at the ramparts alone," the judge [Murray Gurfein] wrote in a passage that has been quoted ever since. "Security also lies in the value of our free institutions. A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, an ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know.”
Steve Sheinkin, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War

Reading Progress

June 6, 2017 – Shelved
June 6, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 5, 2017 – Started Reading
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: history
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 5, 2017 –
page 119
July 12, 2017 –
page 298
July 12, 2017 – Shelved as: book-club
July 12, 2017 – Finished Reading

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