The Best and the Brightest

Ranked #7 in Vietnam War, Ranked #13 in International Relationssee more rankings.

The Best and the Brightest is David Halberstam's masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy. 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 it lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It's an American classic. less

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Best and the Brightest from the world's leading experts.

Barack Obama Former USA PresidentAccording to the president’s Facebook page and a 2008 interview with the New York Times, these titles are among his most influential forever favorites: Moby Dick, Herman Melville Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson Song Of Solomon, Toni Morrison Parting The Waters, Taylor Branch Gilead, Marylinne Robinson Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene The Quiet American, Graham Greene Cancer Ward, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Gandhi’s autobiography Working, Studs Terkel Wealth of Nations, Adam... (Source)

Chad Dickerson Just finished Best and the Brightest (long and detailed book on the Vietnam War) & if I learned one thing it’s that many assume people in charge of a war have a clear plan that should be supported out of patriotic duty & it’s highly possible they don’t. Skepticism is patriotic. (Source)

Martin Bell I started off doing tribal massacres in Nigeria. Then in early 1967 I went to Vietnam and was back there in 1972. David Halberstam was the main New York Times correspondent in Vietnam during that time. Lyndon Johnson lent very heavily on the newspaper’s editor to get him withdrawn because he didn’t like his reports. Halberstam was very truthful about what he found. (Source)

Stephen Glain The book shows how a president, however reluctant to engage militarily or to militarise foreign policy, finds himself getting swept along by events or political imperatives that he can’t control. (Source)

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