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The Best and the Brightest by David…

The Best and the Brightest (1972)

by David Halberstam

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1,489147,269 (4.18)37
Recently added byLisCarey, private library, ibinu, Lkingsley, Themistocles, alo1224, Valdon, DanieXJ, mattjan
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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This is one of the most impressive works of journalism I have ever read. It's a beast of a book - don't start reading this one unless you want to spend a lot of time with it.

Halberstam's classic is an inside look at the Kennedy and Johnson administrations steady escalation of American involvement in Vietnam. It examines a complex and fascinating question: how did two administrations full of the best and brightest individuals the nation have to offer lose control and caused one of the great tragedies in our nation's history? The answer is nuanced and complex, and Halberstam analyzes all elements of the issue: surprising lack of knowledge about Asia, militant anti-Communism, intra-governmental and intra-military rivalries, intolerance of dissent, various character flaws of both presidents in question and prominent members of the administration, and much, much more. The result is an incredibly smart and detailed book, and one that is not dry by any means; Halberstam is a gifted writer indeed.

This one is highly recommended to anyone with a serious interest in the Vietnam war. ( )
  rcb1291 | Sep 3, 2018 |
A definitive look at America’s involvement in Viet Nam tragedy and why US lost the worst war in our history. The author’s portraits of the individuals involved are outstanding.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Jul 29, 2017 |
A journalist tries to write history. It is not a bad job, and definitely has a competent chronology and lively writing style. It is more precisely, a history of the Kennedy/Johnson Years with special emphasis on the descent into Vietnam. This is the first mention that it could be seen as Kennedy's War, not LBJ's. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 18, 2016 |
Read this years ago when it first appeared. As a result, I read everything Halberstam wrote. Whenever I hear anyone discuss hiring only the "best and the brightest" now, I shudder. ( )
1 vote ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
A difficult read based on the author's assumption of the readership's prior in-depth knowledge. Still, it was enlightening and horrifying and stunning. ( )
1 vote bontley | Aug 24, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449908704, Paperback)

"A rich, entertaining, and profound reading experience." -- The New York Times
"[The] most comprehensive saga of how America became involved in Vietnam. It is also the Iliad of the American empire and the Odyssey of this nation's search for its idealistic soul. THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST is almost like watching an Alfred Hitchcock thriller." -- The Boston Globe
"Deeply moving . . . We cannot help but feel the compelling power of this narrative . . . . Dramatic and tragic, a chain of events overwhelming in their force, a distant war embodying illusions and myths, terror and violence, confusions and courage, blindness, pride, and arrogance." -- Los Angeles Times
"Most impressive, superb -- perceptive, literary, multidimensional." -- The New York Times Book Review
"A story which every American should read." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:57 -0400)

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Chronicle of the war in Vietnam and the limits of American power and politics in the 1950s and 1960s.

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