Most Dangerous

September 18, 2015 ARC, Book Review, Nonfiction 2

I received this ARC from Publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Most DangerousMost Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
Published by Roaring Brook Press on September 22nd 2015
Pages: 384
Source: ARC from Publisher

From Steve Sheinkin, the award-winning author of The Port Chicago 50 and Bomb comes a tense, exciting exploration of what the Times deemed "the greatest story of the century": how Daniel Ellsberg transformed from obscure government analyst into "the most dangerous man in America," and risked everything to expose the government's deceit.

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 documents 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. A provocative book that interrogates the meanings of patriotism, freedom, and integrity, Most Dangerous further establishes Steve Sheinkin as a leader in children's nonfiction.

My Thoughts:

Books like Most Dangerous are exactly what I had in mind when I set a goal to read one nonfiction book a month. Not only did I get to read an excellent and well written book, I also learned more about a topic that I had a woefully inadequate knowledge of.

I first heard Steve Sheinkin’s name when his book Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon won numerous awards in 2013. I read and loved his book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights last year. So, when I saw he had a book coming out about the Vietnam War I jumped at the chance to read it.

The Vietnam War is something I’ve known about in a general sense. Two of my uncles and numerous family friends served overseas. I’ve heard stories of what it was like and read about protests and the charged climate of the US at the time. Still, I never really understood the more political aspects. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War gave me more insight into the causes and political reasons for the war than any history class ever did. I was captivated from the first page.

Steve Sheinkin is a master at making historical events seem pressing. He grabs the readers attention and keeps it with fast pacing and expert storytelling. What really impresses me is that he doesn’t sacrifice details the reader needs in order to do this. He includes the background knowledge and information pertinent to the story without slowing it down. His books are the perfect blend of entertaining and educational. They’re a must in any library. Highly recommended.

2 Responses to “Most Dangerous”

  1. Audrey Greathouse

    “a master at making historical events seem pressing” that quote right there tells me everything I need to know about the quality of this book and its writing. Historical events (and nonfiction in general) face a great challenge when they aim their content at a younger audience. I’m glad to hear this book lived up to its potential!

  1. Boots on the Ground - YA Bibliophile

    […] much everything I know about the history of the Vietnam War came from reading Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War. That book was totally fascinating and gave me a lot of background knowledge I was lacking. But I […]

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