Imatge de l'autor

Daniel Ellsberg (1931–2023)

Autor/a de Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

9+ obres 1,033 Membres 15 Ressenyes 1 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Daniel Ellsberg, a Harvard graduate, ex-Marine, and Rand Corporation analyst, was recruited to serve in the Pentagon during the Johnson administration. Now a prominent speaker, writer, and activist, Ellsberg lives in California and Washington, D.C.
Crèdit de la imatge: Daniel Ellsberg, à Dresde (Allemagne), en février 2016

Obres de Daniel Ellsberg

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Well, this is a terrifying book. Ellsberg began as a committed Cold Warrior, before his disillusionment led him to leak the Pentagon Papers and become an antiwar activist. What I didn’t know was that he had a larger cache of secret documents about US nuclear policy, though they apparently got lost when he tried to conceal them from the feds. Still, he worked for RAND and had a lot of access, so his accounts of how, in practice, individual base commanders and even individual pilots could have launched their nuclear missiles—despite what we’ve told the world about the “nuclear football”—were credible. We know a few stories about how individual Soviets averted nuclear war, but not nearly as much about similar decisions by Americans. Luck is not a great strategy, but it’s what we’ve been using and will continue to use as long as America retains a first-strike capability. Ellsberg also writes persuasively about how Presidents, and especially their representatives in private negotiations, have used the threat of nuclear war in political confrontations, and ended up thinking that it worked, to the continued risk of the world.… (més)
rivkat | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Apr 15, 2024 |
Democracy dies in darkness is a tag line that the Washington Post adopted during the reign of our unbenevolent despot and it is an apt way to think about this fascinating and important memoir by Daniel Ellsberg. The book works through Ellsberg’s time as first and advisor and supporter of the Vietnam war to his eventually disillusionment about the lies being told and his principled opposition to it. Ellsberg was there and he has the facts and the recall to walk us through it in detail in such a way that I find it hard to believe anyone would come out from reading this book and not being angry about what happened. His main point is that the people who knew what was going on DID provide information and guidance to those making the decisions that should have guided them to stopping our involvement in the war. However, the outward facing communication with the public was not truthful and indeed democracy did die in the darkness, as he realized that “the president’s ability to escalate, his entire strategy throughout the war, had depended on secrecy and lying and thus on his ability to deter unauthorized disclosures—truth telling—by officials.” Given this situation his decision to “break the law” and release the Pentagon Papers is not only understandable but heroic. The writing is factual, understandable, and interesting. A fantastic book.… (més)
MarkMad | Hi ha 5 ressenyes més | Jul 14, 2021 |



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