Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War is New York Times bestselling author Steve Sheinkin's award-winning nonfiction account of an ordinary man who wielded the most dangerous weapon: the truth.
“Easily the best study of the Vietnam War available for teen readers.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award winner
A National Book Award finalist
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon book
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature finalist
Selected for the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People List
In 1964, Daniel Ellsberg was a U.S. government analyst, helping to plan a war in Vietnam. It was the height of the Cold War, and the government would do anything to stop the spread of communism—with or without the consent of the American people.
As the fighting in Vietnam escalated, Ellsberg turned against the war. He had access a top-secret government report known as the Pentagon Papers, and he knew it could blow the lid off of years of government lies. But did he have the right to expose decades of presidential secrets? And what would happen to him if he did it?
A lively book that interrogates the meanings of patriotism, freedom, and integrity, the National Book Award finalist Most Dangerous further establishes Steve Sheinkin—author of Newbery Honor book Bomb as a leader in children's nonfiction.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
“Gripping.”—New York Times Book Review
“A master of fast-paced histories...[this] is Sheinkin’s most compelling one yet. ”—Washington Post
Also by Steve Sheinkin:
Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
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
Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America
Sheinkin (The Port Chicago 50) has done again what he does so well: condense mountains of research into a concise, accessible, and riveting account of history. This time he focuses on the turbulent Vietnam War era, using as his lens Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers. Divided into three sections, the book's short chapters detail Ellsberg's transformation from U.S. Marine, government analyst, and "cold warrior" to antiwar activist and whistle-blower. Initial pages list nearly 100 characters central to the Ellsberg-Vietnam story, including politicians, reporters, military personnel, and Vietnamese officials. Each appears chronologically in the expansive narrative, which also traces how several U.S. presidents and their often-secretive policies led to the prolonged conflict in Southeast Asia. Chapters dealing with Ellsberg's clandestine leak of a top-secret government study of the war, as well as the Nixon White House's response, read like the stuff of spy novels and will keep readers racing forward. On the 40th anniversary of the evacuation of Saigon, the book's themes still resonate, as the epilogue about whistle-blower Edward Snowden points out. Ages 10 14.