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Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
Cover of Most Dangerous, book by Steve Sheinkin.png
Author Steve Sheinkin
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Roaring Brook Press
Publication date
September 22, 2015
Pages 384
ISBN 9781596439528

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War is a 2015 non-fiction book, aimed for young adolescent readers, written by Steve Sheinkin and published through Roaring Brook Press. The multi-award-winning book tells the story of Daniel Ellsberg's role in the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers.


The book begins by telling the reader about how two members of The Plumbers are preparing to break into the office of a psychiatrist named Lewis J. Fielding, in an attempt to dig up dirt on his former clients, Daniel Ellsberg, and hopefully ruin his reputation. Like a few other books by Sheinkin, it then backtracks many years, telling the reader why the government would be inclined to do such a thing. The book explains how Ellsberg got a job at the RAND Corporation, how he left to work at The Pentagon, how the Pentagon Papers were created, how Ellsberg became an anti-war advocate, and how Ellsberg accessed and released the Pentagon Papers. It often veers off Ellsberg, and tells the reader what was happening in the White House before and during the Vietnam War. The book closes off with the court cases involving the printing of the Pentagon Papers in the New York Times and Washington Post, and the case in which Ellsberg was tried for violating the Espionage Act of 1917.


  • 2016 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction winner
  • A 2015 National Book Award finalist
  • A 2015 Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon book
  • A 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature finalist
  • Selected for the 2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People List
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