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Most Dangerous

Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War

Steve Sheinkin

Square Fish

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ISBN10: 125018083X
ISBN13: 9781250180834

Trade Paperback

400 Pages



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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.


Praise for Most Dangerous

"Immediate and compelling . . . Here, [Sheinkin] has outdone even himself."—Horn Book (starred review)

“Fast-paced and fascinating . . . backed up by meticulous research.”—VOYA (starred review)

"A thrilling ride."—BCCB (starred review)

"Sheinkin's most compelling one yet."—The Washington Post

"Young people in the United States are growing up in a vastly changed world, one where endless war and all-pervasive surveillance is a matter of course. Most Dangerous will help them understand how it has become so."—The New York Times Book Review

“Powerful and thought-provoking.” —Booklist (starred review)

"Thoroughly researched, thoughtfully produced, and beautifully written . . . a timely and extraordinary addition to every library."—School & Library Journal (starred review)

“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)

“Sheinkin has done again what he does so well: condense mountains of research into a concise, accessible, and riveting account of history. . . [This book] will keep readers racing forward.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt


WHAT COULD DANIEL ELLSBERG possibly have done to provoke such wrath-to be seen as such a threat? The story begins twenty-six years earlier, as World War II came to an end and the Cold War began. Ellsberg was just...

About the author

Steve Sheinkin

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.

Erica Miller

Steve Sheinkin

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