From the award-winning author of The Port Chicago 50 and Newbery Honor Book Bomb comes the story of how an ordinary man exposed two decades of government deception of the American public during the Vietnam War.
A National Book Award Finalist
“Gripping.” New York Times Book Review
“Steve Sheinkin is a master of fast-paced histories.” Washington Post
Steve Sheinkin delivers a tense, narrative nonfiction account of what the Times deemed "the greatest story of the century." This is the story of how whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg transformed from obscure government analyst into "the most dangerous man in America," and risked everything to expose years of government lies during the Nixon / Cold War era.
On June 13, 1971, the front page of the New York Times announced the existence of a 7,000-page collection of documents containing a secret history of the Vietnam War.
Known as The Pentagon Papers, these files had been commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Chronicling every action the government had taken in the Vietnam War, they revealed a pattern of deception spanning over twenty years and four presidencies, and forever changed the relationship between American citizens and the politicians claiming to represent their interests.
The investigation that resulted--as well as the attempted government coverups and vilification of the whistleblower--has timely relevance to Edward Snowden's NSA leaks.
A provocative and political book that interrogates the meanings of patriotism, freedom, and integrity, Most Dangerous further establishes Steve Sheinkin as a leader in children's nonfiction.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
Praise for Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War:
Finalist for the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature
A National Book Award Finalist
Selected for the 2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People List
“Lively, detailed prose rooted in a tremendous amount of research, fully documented. . . Easily the best study of the Vietnam War available for teen readers.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
By Steve Sheinkin:
Bomb: The Race to Buildand Stealthe World's Most Dangerous Weapon
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights:
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
Which Way to the Wild West?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About Westward Expansion
King George: What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Revolution
Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the Civil War
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Night in the Gulf of Tonkin was morning on the east coast of the United States. Daniel Ellsberg parked his white Triumph Spitfire convertible in the sprawling parking lot of the Pentagon. He got out of his car and joined the streams of men and women walking toward the massive five-sided building. This was the first day of his new job.
He did not have long to wait for the crisis his boss had promised. “My very first day on the job,” he later said, “all hell broke loose.”
Table of Contents
Cast of Characters,
PROLOGUE: FEASIBILITY STUDY,
PART I: INSIDER,
Search and Destroy,
PART II: SECRETS AND LIES,
The Power of Leaks,
The Pentagon Papers,
Behind the Mask,
A Matter of Patriotism,
PART III: OUTSIDER,
Peace with Honor?,
Epilogue: History Repeats,
About the Author,
Also By Steve Sheinkin,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don’t usually get into nonfiction this much, but this was beyond interesting. Somehow I never knew about most of it. I felt amazed actually to be so clueless about a part of fairly recent American history. Some parts were really exciting like when he was on the run and getting parts of the classified documents printed. I just wonder if I would have been more into History when I was in school if I would have had to read something like this.
An amazing history read at a level that will hold teen interest along with adults. This is an important time in history to read about. It is easy to see connections to today. This is a must read and should be discussed in classrooms across the country.b
This book is the living example of taking something we already kind of know about, and skewering it mind-boggling truth and ready-made suspense. The plot is history-based, so there's no thinking you're getting emotional over a made-up story. The struggles that Daniel Ellsberg (the main character) goes through are also realistic, changing your view of the Vietnam War Era forever. Daniel Ellsberg works for the government throughout the Cold War, and takes the position of a "Cold War Boy", someone who grew up on the American side of the Cold War, and liked it. Over time, the Cold War expands to include a new war, The Vietnam War, the war meant to heroically defend our way of life before it could be destroyed by Communists. Meanwhile, Ellsberg is exposed to the horrors of the Vietnam War through his "insider" government job, the perfect vantage point. He shifts from "insider" to "outsider", and from a confidential man to being targeted by the government for exposing the failures of the presidents. This exposure would be known as The Pentagon Papers, the first big leakage of Top Secret U.S. government information, ever. In other words, it is just as good as any of your favorite books with a theme of rebellion, but as a real life tale with real life consequences, too. Remember as you read that the outcome detailed in this book will make a lasting mark on the world you live in, because Daniel Ellsberg really was one "the most dangerous man in America" Jose C, age 14, San Francisco Regional Mensa
I have read the book and just love it could not stop read it