Recommendations from our site
“Halberstam was a New York Times reporter, one of the first members of the American press to report in-depth from Vietnam itself. He arrived in South Vietnam during mid-1962, in the middle of the Kennedy administration. Initially, he believed in the cause, believed it important for the United States to help the South Vietnamese prevail against the insurgency. Over time, he began to doubt this belief. As problems plagued the war effort, he reported the fact, much to the annoyance of the White House, including Kennedy himself. That’s the background. It’s a sprawling, mesmerizing work. It belongs on any short shelf of essential Vietnam War books.” Read more...
Fredrik Logevall, Historian
“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.” Read more...
The best books on US Militarism
Stephen Glain, Foreign Correspondent
“The Best and the Brightest is an account of how the Americans got into this war. How brilliant people devised schemes that went against all common sense. One of them of course was McNamara who had been president of the Ford Motor Company. They thought that simply by the application of force and intelligence they could make things happen on the ground. But they didn’t understand.” Read more...
The best books on Reportage and War
Martin Bell, Foreign Correspondent
Other books by David Halberstam
Our most recommended books
The Best and the Brightest
by David Halberstam
The Things They Carried
by Tim O’ Brien
The Annotated Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
by Ulysses S Grant and Elizabeth Samet (editor), Mark Bramhall (narrator)
The Radicalism of the American Revolution
by Gordon S. Wood
The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
by Bernard Bailyn
What It Takes
by Richard Ben Cramer