Secrets

  • by Daniel Ellsberg
  • Narrated by Daniel Ellsberg, Dan Cashman
  • 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At the height of a spectacular career that spanned four administrations, Daniel Ellsberg chose a new course he believed would land him in prison for the rest of his life. He smuggled out of his office a 7,000 page top-secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam from 1945-1968, and leaked it to The New York Times.How did the coldest of warriors come to turn against his own government? In Secrets, Ellsberg finally tells the full story.
Ellsberg provides a vivid eyewitness account of the two years he spent behind the lines in Vietnam as a State Department observer, an experience that profoundly altered his own political thinking. And he tells how the release of the Pentagon Papers set in motion a train of events that ultimately toppled a president and helped to end an unjust war.
Infused with the political passion and turmoil of the Vietnam era, Secrets is the memoir of a daring man, a story about what it takes to make a dramatic life-change in the context of moral challenge, an expose of Washington power politics, and a searing portrait of America at a perilous modern crossroads.

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What the Critics Say

"A remarkable and riveting story." (Publishers Weekly)
"The story is fascinating, and one that anyone interested in Vietnam should hear. Ellsberg has a gruff voice, and he gives a true measure of himself as he reads his story." (AudioFile)
"Ellsberg's deft critique of secrecy in government is an invaluable contribution to understanding one of our nation's darkest hours." (San Francisco Chronicle)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

5 stars for an account of a 5-star fiasco

This book is engrossing. Even at this far removed distance in time, and despite of all we know about it, the details of this story are shocking. The presentation is impassioned and at the same time matter of fact and direct about the decades of presidential deception on Vietnam. E.g., Elsberg is listening to a President Johnson speech and notes his reaction and details the lies LBJ told in it. Four presidents lied about Vietnam. All of the four ignored the best advice from the military advisors on what it would take to "win": all the presidents did less but hoped that what they did would bring a resolution to the conflict. An excellent narrator, perfect for this book, Dan Cashman. The introduction and some of the chapters are narrated by the 70-something Daniel Ellsberg. It's a winner.
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- David

Insight to Vietnam War and US policies

Heading to Vietnam, I wanted to find a book that covered US politics in the region, some history, the Pentagon Papers if possible and anything else that might be of interest. I was lucky to find this book, because it covers all of these topics in intense detail. It's worth reading twice. And there are no other books on Audible at this time that cover this topic with such critical insight. Aside from the strange ding-dong chapter introductions, everything else is very good, including the narration. This author sounds great reading his own work- a rarity.

This book is also very interesting because Ellsberg discusses in great detail how he changed from a Cold Warrior to a Progressive person who learned over many years how to think for himself. He goes into exceptional detail about the Gulf of Tonkin, to which he was privy to Top Secret memos at the time of the supposed attacks.

This is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the Vietnam War, the US government's involvement and the many US administrations that kept the war going, and why.

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- S

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-22-2004
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books