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 As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded.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.
The Vietnam War has seemed more shadowy and cinematic to me than anything else for most of my life. I was born during the Watergate Hearings. 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. But unlike the Baby Boomers, we are not defined by the war--it, literally and figuratively, did not make us. So, as a consequence, when I think of the Vietnam War it is the images that the generations before me created that come to mind--Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon...
When I read The Best and the Brightest, that all changed. For the first time, I understood. No matter what your position may have been or may be, this book fully and expertly explores the American foreign policy decisions and actions that led to this war and its execution and paints a clear picture of its catalytic role in the shaping of today's America.
-Kelly Lamb, Marketing Coordinator
From the Publisher
"For anyone who aspires to a position of national leadership, no matter the circumstances of his or her birth, this book should be mandatory reading. And anyone who feels a need, as a confused former prisoner of war once felt the need, for insights into how a great and good nation can lose a war and see its worthy purposes and principles destroyed by self-delusion can do no better than to read and reread David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest."
--from the Foreword by Senator John McCain
"The most comprehensive saga of how America became involved in Vietnam. . . . [I]t is also The Iliad of the American empire and The Odyssey of this nation’s search for its idealistic soul."
-- The Boston Globe
"Seductively readable. . . . [I]t is a staggeringly ambitious undertaking that is fully matched by Halberstam’s perfor-mance."
"A rich, entertaining, and profound reading experience."
-- The New York Times
From the Back Cover