The Best and the Brightest is David Halberstam’s masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy. Using portraits of America’s flawed. IN , David Halberstam wrote a new introduction for the 20th-anniversary edition of “The Best and the Brightest,” his classic history of the. “A rich, entertaining, and profound reading experience.” — The New York Times “[ The] most comprehensive saga of how America became involved.

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I think Halberstam’s book is easily as perceptive, in broad terms, as Tuchmann’s classic.

The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam

How could they lead us into Vietnam, and then keep us in Vietnam for so long? I think what Powell hoped the President would learn is that pragmatism uncoupled from humanism is a blueprint for failure. Johnson simply became more insular. In the end they were among the earliest casualties, and the author took us up the hierarchy again, only this time showing the sequence of the casualties: Several factors led to the commitment of combat troops: If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

This is a stunning book. However, the book’s other theme is the effect of the political establishment on the decision-making process. But it will also tell you some things you never knew.

The Best and the Brightest

Before we commit to any new military ans, we need to make sure we fully comprehend our past failures. America and Vietnam during the Kennedy Era. Diem was killed in a US approved coup Nov 1st.


By giving rich and illuminating profiles of the individuals behind the decisions Halberstam paints a portrait of the American political establishment. Review “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. McNamara had worked his way up to the President of Ford Motor Company as a financial systems expert, controlling costs and streamlining operations.

Best And The Brightest

Halberstam gives a mini-biography of all of the major players, and does a good job of adding background to the story by showing how the conflict started, what the U. I was just as impressed with it this time as I tthe forty years ago. For the first time, I understood. The Second World War and the unquestionable prestige that it conferred on men in uniform were only a generation old.

Fine historical research and reporting. While the JCS and Westmoreland expected and planned for ground troops, Taylor objected, but found himself out bdightest the loop. He chose the never outspoken Dean Rusk for Secretary of State, wanting no one who would challenge him.

How could men so intelligent and gifted the title of the book is only partially ironic make so many poor decisions? Ho Chi Minh is frequently compared to George Washington; one wonders after reading this book if King George III had his own “best and brightest” ministers who advised analogous strategies like shelling Boston, propping up a puppet government in Georgia, rounding beest colonists and settling them into “strategic plantations”, or simply sending more and more redcoats.

McCarthyism set the stage, so alcohol was involved. Share your thoughts with thee customers.

First, the Bay of Pigs debacle which JFK lackadaisically let happen forced him to adopt a strong anti-communist line since he could not again afford to look weak. It could not be changed now. Synthesizing material from halbeestam of books and many dozens ane interviews, Halberstam focused on the odd paradox that those who crafted the U.


I had initially thought the book was a comprehensive history of the war, but the bulk of it focuses only on the years andthe period during which the entire sorry cast of characters, from LBJ on down, deluded themselves into believing the United States could prevail in a conflict that had confounded the French for more than 15 years and led to their ignominious departure in Despite some repetitive or The Best and the Brightest is an page tome about the men who came to power under Kennedy and continued to serve under Johnson.

Retrieved from ” https: But there is a surprising amount of entertainment here– Halberstam sketches his characters with sympathy AND wit the tone of this book is unmistakably one of “what the fuck, brivhtest — and holy hell is it an important tale to heed in In the end, the ‘reality gap’ set in. To ask other readers questions about The Best and the Brightestplease sign up.

The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam. That deception was put forward not only by the military, but by McNamara as well.

The men who were supposedly the brightest and most able men ever assembled by a President.