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. IN , David Halberstam wrote a new introduction for the 20th-anniversary edition of “The Best and the Brightest,” his classic history of the. “A rich, entertaining, and profound reading experience.” — The New York Times “[ The] most comprehensive saga of how America became involved.

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In a league of its own. Harkins, Ambassador Nolting, and the Tye contingent worked through the autocratic, insular, moody Diem. May 09, Minutes Buy. 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.

Taylor, McNamara, Bundy, Rostow and others could not admit defeat and ever increasing escalation ensued. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Those who tried to go around Harkins soon found out his support and instructions came from his friend at the top, JCS Chairman Maxwell Taylor. We were really assholes playing with fireworks. Reviewing the political players in Washington DC during the slide, Halberstam begins with a focus on the Kennedy years and how JFK emerged on a promise of change after years of disappointment in leadership … much like Barack Obama would come forward 50 years later.

Read it Forward Read it first. It is amazing how all of these people kept deluding themselves into thinking that the U.

Kennedy came to office in full of promise. A must read for anyone who is involved in developing public policy. This book was first published in and has held up quite well over time. This myth still pervades the politically engaged today. It had all the ingredients of a great novel: Fire in the Lake: But all the time the message was consistent — these are the most brilliant people, although in different ways. All the major players had big incentives to escalate and act tough; no one’s career was helped by caution and disagreement.

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The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam

Lists with This Book. Inspired by Your Browsing History. I think it gets harder every day, every day we lose a little control, each decision that we make wrong, or don’t make at all, makes the next decision a little harder because if we haven’t stopped it today, then the reasons for not stopping it will still exist tomorrow, and we’ll be even deeper.

Tuchmann is only cited once, briefly, but even though this book, written inhad a much closer vantage point to its still-active subject than The Guns of August, and hence is closer to unusually detailed and eloquent journalism than a straight-up history, Halberstam observes and recounts all the same organizational pathologies that plagued the French General Staff and the Prussian High Command that were still present in the American political and military leadership.

Outstanding book, as is anything that I have read by Halberstam. The details, including behind the scenes and behind the reports, are there in a readable presentation.

I had initially thought the book was a comprehensive history of the war, but the bulk of it focuses only on the years andthe period during which the entire sorry cast of characters, from LBJ on down, deluded themselves into believing the United States could prevail in a conflict that had confounded the French for more than 15 years and led to their ignominious departure in My generation was touched by the war in Vietnam, but only in the sense that our parents were part of it—whether they marched for peace or served in the military or fell somewhere in between.

Yes, it is a war book Vietnam but far more than that it’s a fascinating character study of how the flaws of the top people in government got us into Vietna Recently Colin Powell answered a NYT book review question by saying that this book is the one he would require President Obama to read. How could they lead us into Vietnam, and then keep us in Vietnam for so long? Jul 24, Brian Eshleman rated it it was amazing. Eisenhower, for his belief that the fight against the Soviets and the Chinese was more important than the Vietnamese desire for self-determination, and who allowed McCarthyism to poison vital parts of the government?

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Bundy was replaced with eternal optimist Walt Rostow who fed Johnson his preferred diet. John McCain died in Customers who bought this item also bought. Apr 23, Rick rated it it was amazing Shelves: He was such a gifted reporter and writer, able to flesh out the often conflicting motives in people and describe how their personalities significantly impacted policy decisions.

The best and the brightest would act in our best interest hablerstam, we assumed, in an world’s. The turning point was February My generation was touched by the war in Ans, but only in the sense that our parents were part of it–whether they marched for peace or served in the military or fell somewhere in between. Return to Book Page.

May 09, Minutes. It is very sad not only that the Vietnam War occurred, it is very apparent that we fail to learn from the lessons of bightest read: Before we commit to any new military strategy, we need to make sure we fully comprehend our past failures.

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Johnson was in awe of McNamara who he regarded as super intelligent and organized. Oct 26, Pages. That deception was put forward not only by the military, but by McNamara as well.

He published four books in the s and was on a pace to publish six or more books in that decade before his death. View all 3 comments. 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. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. The lesson is the importance of debate, of being open to information bad news as well as goodof the difficulty many people have in holding on to their principles when power is at stake.

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