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The Best and the Brightest


The classic portrait of power and politics in the 1960s featuring the brilliant men who led the country into the Vietnam War, republished on its 20th ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Best and the Brightest

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  • A must read for history buffs Aug 15, 2013
    by Marcia A

    Whether or not you lived through the Viet Nam war, this history is a must read. I have to admit it is VERY detailed and a broader history would be helpful in some instances, but it is worth time and effort. Not a book you'll read cover to cover at once, at least not in my opinion, but one everyone should attempt to add to their understanding of our political and foreign affairs.

  • Revealing look at Kennedy administration May 14, 2009
    by Charlton

    The people, policies and decisions that inexorably brought this nation into a land war in Vietnam are revealed in this historical novel by David Halberstam. The powerful political figures working behind the scenes in Democratic and Republican presidential adminstrations following WWII are brought to life. Not simply an examination of the historical who, what, when and where but also the how and why that brought the United States into the Vietnam War. It examines the people who made up Kennedy's White House staff against the backdrop of U.S. policies in Asia, contrasting the views of foreign service officers in the field against the political pressure brought on with the birth of the Cold War. Halberstam draws the reader into a world of powerful, privileged men making decisions that would affect our nation's foreign policy to this day.

  • Great read Mar 19, 2009
    by CharleyinTX

    Everyone should read this book. Applies to today as well as then.

    Really a great book.

  • classic Jan 1, 2009
    by Bevan

    Great book about a true American hero. And, tells the real story about why we lost the Vietnam war.

  • Another Screeching Diatribe Sep 11, 2008
    by WmTN

    Halberstam was a professional iconoclast. His views on politics and war run from the naieve to the rediculous. If one compares this book with, say, Palmer's "summons of the Trumpet," one would wonder whether the two books were about the same war. At one point in a later book Halberstam tell his readers that there were (are) two kinds of communisim, the bad old Stalinist version and the pure aggrarian reformers, as in VietNam and North Korea. He apparently does not know of Kruschev's "wars of nantional liberation" that provided the fig leaf for massive Soviet aid to North VietNam.
    Lots of passion, little of History.

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