p83... I noted where the book (in my edition) went from where the editors had too much control (I assume they put in the attempts a short bios on key figures where are so disjointed from the rest of the book), to where the story takes on a life of its own. I expected a dry, academic read, but was pleasantly surprised that I had misjudged Ellsberg's capabilities as a writer and storyteller.
Ellsberg does a masterful job of presenting a lot of "inside" information, and making it accessible to the lay-person. The book is not overloaded with governmental alphabet soup as are too many military/political accounts. Better than presenting the information, Ellsberg takes us on a journey--his personal journey--tying together many threads of detail into a single story, and allows the reader to share the "aha!" (perhaps the "oh, no!") he must have felt as he unraveled the events forcing his hand to leak Top Secret information. Having read "In Retrospect" a few years ago, I'm left wanting to revisit that work as there are disparities between the two "I was there" accounts which, if my memory serves, may simply be a result of how McNamara was "spinning" the facts--but why are we still "spinning" now...
From this story, Ellsberg provocatively takes us beyond the Pentagon Papers to their impact on the world's most important personalities. I would very much like to see a sequel to this book which investigates the implications of the Pentagon Papers in more depth.
Whatever the first 80ish pages lacked is more than made up by the rest of the story....Continua