Most Dangerous

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Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War

by Steve Sheinkin

May 2017

I dove into another non-fiction for my MOMS club book club, even though I couldn’t make it to our meeting. It was so highly recommended that I decided I had to read it. I’m a sucker for recommendations! Most Dangerous is a book on the Vietnam war; another topic that I didn’t think I’d be interested in. However, I loved Sheinkin’s book. His writing is phenomenal and I read the second half of the book in one night. He made this topic interesting and engaging, making me feel like I was reading a fiction. I’m so happy I read Most Dangerous and I’m looking forward to reading more books by Sheinkin!

The subtitle to Most Dangerous is: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War. For me, I really knew next to nothing about the Vietnam war, so it was fascinating to learn about it in general, as well as Ellsberg’s role specifically. I loved how Sheinkin told Ellsberg’s story, weaving in presidential and political history. He gave a broad context as well as interesting specifics. I couldn’t read fast enough. Spoilers: as a young man Daniel Ellsberg was heavily invested in the government and in supporting the Vietnam war, even going over there to report and see first hand what was happening. As the years passed, he changed his mind and views and staunchly opposed the war, going so far as to steal classified government documents and leak them to the press. He ended up in hiding for a while and then taken to court by the US government. Ultimately, as the government’s shady decisions and actions came to light, Ellsberg’s case was dropped and he was free to live his life. Ellsberg’s leaking of the Pentagon Papers changed the way we view the government and was the first case of its kind. It’s amazing thinking about the gravity of his actions and choice to share secret information that he felt should not be secret to the American public.

Summing it up: I loved this book and can’t recommend it highly enough!

All the best, Abbey

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