“The most significant leaks of classified material in American history.” –The Washington Post
Not Fake News! The basis for the 2018 film The Post by Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, The Pentagon Papers are a series of articles, documents, and studies examining the Johnson Administration’s lies to the public about the extent of US involvement in the Vietnam War, bringing to light shocking conclusions about America’s true role in the conflict.
Published by The New York Times in 1971, The Pentagon Papers riveted an already deeply divided nation with startling and disturbing revelations about the United States' involvement in Vietnam. The Washington Post called them “the most significant leaks of classified material in American history” and they remain relevant today as a reminder of the importance of a free press and First Amendment rights. The Pentagon Papers demonstrated that the government had systematically lied to both the public and to Congress.
This incomparable, 848-page volume includes:
With a brand-new foreword by James L. Greenfield, this edition of the Pulitzer Prize–winning story is sure to provoke discussion about free press and government deception, and shed some light on issues in the past and the present so that we can better understand and improve the future.
SubtitleThe Secret History of the Vietnam War
AuthorBy Neil Sheehan, By Hedrick Smith, Foreword by James L. Greenfield, By E. W. Kenworthy, By Fox Butterfield
Published12 December 2017
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
Neil Sheehan is the author of A Fiery Peace in a Cold War and A Bright Shining Lie, which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1989. He spent three years in Vietnam as a war correspondent for United Press International and The New York Times and won numerous awards for his reporting. In 1971, he obtained The Pentagon Papers, which brought the Times the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for meritorious public service. Sheehan lives in Washington, DC. He is married to the writer Susan Sheehan.
E. W. Kenworthy worked at The New York Times for nearly thirty years, in both New York and Washington. He passed away in January 1993.
Fox Butterfield is an American journalist and author. His work has been read and acclaimed widely, having received both a Pulitzer Prize for his role in publishing The Pentagon Papers and a National Book Award for China: Alive in the Bitter Sea.
Hedrick Smith is an American journalist, producer, and correspondent. During twenty-six years at The New York Times, he covered the civil rights struggle, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War, among many other monumental events in America history.
James L. Greenfield was the US secretary of state for public affairs as well as an editor for The New York Times for more than twenty years. He directly contributed to the publication of The Pentagon Papers and later founded the Independent Journalism Foundation.
“The Pentagon Papers talk about the elusive quality of the truth… God bless The New York Times and Neil Sheehan for exposing it… If [printing the truth] is a dangerous thing to do, we’re in a bad place.”
–Tom Hanks, Academy Award winning actor and star of the major motion picture The Post
“[Ellsberg] paints a striking picture of intelligent people persevering and tinkering with a war policy that could never be successful.”
–Lawrence D. Freedman, Foreign Affairs
“The dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of governmental suppression of embarrassing information. A debate of large proportions goes on in the Nation over our posture in Vietnam. Open debate and discussion of public issues are vital to our National Health.”
–Justice William O. Douglas
“This heroic act of journalism, and the legal ruling it forced the US Supreme Court to make, still stand today as the most powerful legal and moral weapon in the American media’s battle against government secrecy… In honor of The Pentagon Papers, perhaps the first item on that long list of things we still don’t know should be finding the truthful analysis of America’s war on terrorism 15 years later, with no end in sight. One hopes it sits on a secure government hard drive somewhere.”
–Dana Priest, Columbia Journalism Review, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning national security reporter at The Washington Post and the John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Maryland’s journalism school
“The WikiLeaks of its day.”
“A mass of significant data as to ensure its enduring usefulness… This enormous collection of documents and commentary undoubtedly deepens our understanding of the political premises and strategic objectives that have underlain the Indochina, and especially the Vietnam, policies of four American administrations.”
–George McT. Kahin, Cornell University
“The most significant leaks of classified material in American history.”
“Clearly, secrecy remains a vexing subject in Washington. And on both the left and the right, views about the issue — especially about its implications for the relationship between the press and the government — continue to be shaped by an event that occurred almost four decades ago: The Pentagon Papers leak. By turning over a trove of classified documents to The New York Times in 1971, Daniel Ellsberg set in motion a political and legal battle of epic proportions. No other episode in American history has had greater influence on our conflicted politics of national-security secrecy.”
–Gabriel Schoenfeld, National Affairs
*** What readers are saying about The Pentagon Papers ***
“Still one of the best books written about the U.S. involvement in one of the greatest fiascoes every devised by our government . . . that is unless we look closely at our involvement in Afghanistan.”
–Larry T. French, Amazon reviewer
“Every now and then in my classes, a student(s) will really get 'into' the Vietnam War. I like to give a copy to those who will really value it… The lessons from this book are many.”
–Mike Manaloff, Amazon reviewer
“This book is a MEAL… Small wonder the US Government fought so hard to suppress these damning documents! The loss of credibility and innocent trust toward government in the USA did not start with the Watergate break in; it started during the US war against Vietnam… This tome is a treasure trove of primary documents, and the New York Times narrative is carefully written to honor the original meanings of quotations that have been pieced together and make it possible to publish the events and documents in a single volume.”
–Donna Davis, Goodreads reviewer
“Utterly fascinating. The temptation to compare the lead up to Vietnam to our current wars falls away as the reader delves into the intricacies of the intrigue, all of which took place behind the scenes and years before all the flower children began protesting. This is not the baby boomer version of the war, where the youth were right there to go against the grain… Could not put this down.”
–Peter Mowris, Goodreads reviewer
*** Praise for Skyhorse Publishing ***
“In the era of corporate dominated mainstream media and feckless herd reporting, Skyhorse's willingness to tackle tough issues that other publishers won't touch has made it a critical cog in our democracy.”
–Robert F. Kennedy Jr., New York Times bestselling author
“It has been a pleasure watching Skyhorse Publishing develop into one of the largest and fastest-growing independent publishers over the last decade. Trident does a good deal of business with Skyhorse. Skyhorse has become a cornerstone of independent publishing and has taken its rightful seat in the world of major trade publishing.”
–Robert Gottlieb, chairman of Trident Media Group, LLC