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eBook The Best and the Brightest ePub

eBook The Best and the Brightest ePub

by John S. McCain,David Halberstam

  • ISBN: 1588360989
  • Category: Americas
  • Subcategory: History
  • Author: John S. McCain,David Halberstam
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House (September 2001)
  • ePub book: 1967 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1815 kb
  • Other: mbr lrf docx lrf
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 962

Description

David Halberstam (1934-2007) was a journalist and author who reported from Vietnam for the New York Times in the early .

David Halberstam (1934-2007) was a journalist and author who reported from Vietnam for the New York Times in the early 1960s. I don’t necessarily agree with all Halberstam’s judgments and conclusions in The Best and the Brightest, but I do think he made a powerful argument that seems to be largely vindicated in the four decades since the end of the Vietnam War.

Foreword by Senator John McCain. I did not learn of Tet from Walter Cronkite or the New York Times.

David Halberstam’s masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy, with a. .

David Halberstam’s masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy, with a new Foreword by Senator John McCain. A rich, entertaining, and profound reading experience.

David Halberstam's masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy, with a new Foreword by Senator John McCain.

I finally finished David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest, a look at the American involvement in Vietnam .

I finally finished David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest, a look at the American involvement in Vietnam - particularly the decision to escalate - up until Johnson (1968). The title comes from the pedigrees of the men who staffed first the Kennedy then the Johnson administrations: the President of Harvard, the President of the Ford Motor Company, the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. The whole book really illustrates how unrepresentative representative democracy is. In 1970 the rate of tertiary education was 10% and the administration had the President of Harvard in it.

The focus of the book is on the foreign policy crafted by academics and intellectuals who were in John F. Kennedy's administration, and the consequences of those policies in Vietnam.

Halberstam delves deeply into the life stories of all-but-forgotten figures like Averell Harriman, Dean Rusk, or.The book starts with Kennedy's election and how he staffed his administration with "the best and the brightest" men of the time.

Halberstam delves deeply into the life stories of all-but-forgotten figures like Averell Harriman, Dean Rusk, or Dean Acheson to show, over and over again, the truth of Yeats' lines about how "The best lack all conviction, while the worst, Are full of passionate intensity". Their credentials were impeccable but Kennedy had a private definition of that phrase that went beyond demonstrated brilliance.

The Best and the Brightest, by David Halberstam, for governance, and This Kind of War, T. R.Sheehan’s book examining America’s involvement in Vietnam through the experiences of John Paul Vann shows how we went about making them anyway

The Best and the Brightest, by David Halberstam, for governance, and This Kind of War, T. Fehrenbach’s classic study of the Korean War. Both concern tactical and strategic mistakes by smart, experienced people, who had more confidence than humility and more intelligence than insight. Sheehan’s book examining America’s involvement in Vietnam through the experiences of John Paul Vann shows how we went about making them anyway. Are there books that to you are important that your children read? That all American children read?

David Halberstam’s masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy, with a new Foreword by Senator John McCain.Using portraits of America’s flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country’s recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.

Comments

Cordalas Cordalas
The first (and only) time I read David Halberstam’s “The Best and the Brightest” was shortly after its publication in 1975… that is, until last week, when I finished reading it again. I was just as impressed with it this time as I was forty years ago.

David Halberstam (1934-2007) was a journalist and author who reported from Vietnam for the New York Times in the early 1960s. He was one of a group of journalists (including Neil Sheehan and Peter Arnett, among others) who earned the ire of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations for his reporting of what he viewed as the truth about Vietnam – that America was getting itself involved in a conflict it couldn’t win. Halberstam’s reporting from Vietnam earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1964.

As Halberstam explains in his preface to “The Best and the Brightest,” he spent three years researching and writing the book. He intended his title to be ironic, not literal. The “Best and the Brightest” were leaders who were considered America’s elite – John F. and Robert F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, McGeorge and William Bundy, George Kennan, George Ball, Clark Clifford, Walt Rostow, John McCone, and others. They were mostly graduates from Ivy League schools, many with Ph.D.’s; men of keen intellect and supposed prodigious management and leadership skills. Men who prided themselves on straight talk. And yet, these men slowly and steadily entangled the United States in a war on the Asian mainland that they knew, from both the warnings they received and from bitter experience, they had little chance of winning. And once they got America entangled in Vietnam, they mismanaged the war and deceived the American people about it, and left the nation torn asunder by divisions that exist to this day.

I don’t necessarily agree with all Halberstam’s judgments and conclusions in “The Best and the Brightest,” but I do think he made a powerful argument that seems to be largely vindicated in the four decades since the end of the Vietnam War. I believe “The Best and the Brightest” is simply the best book ever written about America’s involvement in Vietnam. If you only read one book about this subject, this is the book to read. Most highly recommended.
Cia Cia
This is an exceptionally well-written book about the way John F. Kennedy's idealistically selected cabinet dragged us down the muddy, dirty, twisted road and into the Vietnam conflagration. Nowhere, save in McMaster's more recent treatment (Dereliction of Duty, 1996) is the critical role of Robert S. McNamara in this debacle, so critically or accurately portrayed. Halberstam treats a number of critical subplots, too, such as the destruction of the "flexible response advocates" among the junior officer corps by Eisenhower's Secretary of Defense, the lamentable "Engine Charlie" Wilson, or the enmity between distinguished paratroop commanders Maxwell Taylor and James Gavin, or LBJ's complete consternation with Kennedy's Undersecretary of State for Southeast Asia, the decorated veteran of Merrill's Marauders and the OSS, Roger Hilsman (arguably the only man in the administration who knew anything at all about Southeast Asia in General and Vietnam in particular). An added value of Halberstam's treatment comes in the form of his detailed, insightful and assiduous character studies of all the principals, from nominal Republican McGeorge Bundy, the only non-PhD ever to serve as Harvard's Dean of the Undergraduate school, to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, intellectually despised by his mentor, Dean Acheson. This work is a must-read for anyone interested in both the Kennedy administration and in the question of how we got snookered into this impossible war in the first place.
superstar superstar
This is the seminal work relating to how we got ourselves immersed in Vietnam. I'm a Vietnam Veteran, and I have always thought our reasons for being there were misguided at best. In this exhaustive look at the gradual build-up to the maximum troop levels in 1969, it is apparent that our reasons were much less than misguided. It makes me angry that many good people died in this war, this senseless, stupid exercise of power gone awry. It is very sad not only that the Vietnam War occurred, it is very apparent that we fail to learn from the lessons of history (read: Iraq and Afghanistan).

"The Best and the Brightest" is an excellent work, deserving of the Pulitzer Prize awarded to Mr. Halberstam.
Yellow Judge Yellow Judge
This is another outstanding book by the late David Halberstam, well written and researched. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and learning so much about the Vietnam War years, I found myself saddened by the needless loss of 58,000 of my generation. Three of those from my high school, whose names I have visited several times on the Wall in Washington D.C.. Their faces were constantly in the back of my mind as I read about the flawed decisions and hubris that brought us into a war of choice. A terrible choice.
Ricep Ricep
A wonderful book. The most important thing to remember when reading is that the title "Best and Brightest..." is dripping with irony. The over whelming virtues of those who led us into this debacle were arrogance, ignorance and naivete. Despite their privileged, New England, Ivy League pedigrees and education, they were clueless. Yet they were perfectly willing to continue expanding and escalating the war, i.e., to pound harder on the square peg to make it fit into the round hole, in a vain attempt to save their face. Face which they arrogantly and cynically attempted to equate with saving America's face. And it mattered not a wit to them how many Vietnamese and "deplorable/irredeemable" American draftee and enlisted citizens needed to be put through the meat-grinder to make it happen.
lifestyle lifestyle
A classic on Vietnam. David Halberstam's comprehensive analysis of the national tragedy teaches us the potential threat of elitist politics and rigid ideological constraints in our policy-making process. Although written in 1972, this amazing piece of history is not obsolete and serves as an excellent reminder for the upcoming administrations. His narrative can be difficult to follow in some parts.