Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (Awards))

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9781596439528: Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (Awards))

This captivating nonfiction investigation of the Pentagon Papers has captured widespread critical acclaim, including features in The Washington Post and on NPR, selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist, and selection as winner of the 2016 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.

From Steve Sheinkin, the award-winning author of The Port Chicago 50 and Newbery Honor Book Bomb comes a tense, narrative nonfiction account of what the Times deemed "the greatest story of the century": 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 more recent conspiracy 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.

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About the Author :

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of fast-paced, cinematic nonfiction histories for young readers. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, was a National Book Award finalist and received the 2014 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, won both the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the YALSA award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon was a Newbery Honor Book, a National Book Award Finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award and YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War was a National Book Award finalist, a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award winner, and a Boston Globe/Horn Book Nonfiction Award winner. Sheinkin lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and two children.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

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.
  Ellsberg climbed the stairs to the third floor and walked down the hall to John McNaughton’s office. It was a large suite with windows looking out across the Potomac River to the Washington Monument and the Capitol dome. McNaughton’s secretary kept watch from a desk just outside the boss’s private room. Other assistants sat in cubicles. Ellsberg entered his tiny workspace—“a cubbyhole,” he called it—barely big enough for a desk and chair, a bookcase, and two safes for classified files. There was a little window with a view of Washington. He sat down and began reading through a pile of papers.
 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.”

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