Daniel Ellsberg began his career as a U.S. Marine company commander, a Pentagon official, and a staunch supporter of America's battle against Communist expansion. But in October 1969, Ellsberg--fully expecting to spend the rest of his life in prison--set out to turn around American foreign policy by smuggling out of his office the seven-thousand-page top-secret study, known as the Pentagon Papers, of U.S. decision making in Vietnam. Ellsberg tells the full story of how and why he became one of the nation's most impassioned and influential antiwar activists--and how his actions helped alter the course of U.S. history. Covering the decade between his entry into the Pentagon and Nixon's resignation, Secrets is Ellsberg's meticulously detailed insider's account of the secrets and lies that shaped American foreign policy during the Vietnam era. 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 convinced him of the hopelessness of Johnson's policies and profoundly altered his own political thinking. As Ellsberg recounts with drama and insight, the release of the Pentagon Papers, first to The New York Times and The Washington Post, 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 at once the memoir of a committed, daring man, an insider's expose of Washington, and a meditation on the meaning of patriotism under a government intoxicated by keeping secrets.
1. The Tonkin Gulf : August 1964 2. Cold warrior, secret keeper 3. The road to escalation 4. Planning provocation 5. "Off the diving board" : July 1965 6. Joining the Foreign Legion 7. Vietnam : the Lansdale team 8. Travels with Vann 9. Losing hope 10. Rach Kien 11. Leaving Vietnam 12. Jaundice 13. The power of truth 14. Campaign '68 15. To the Hotel Pierre 16. The morality of continuing the war 17. War resisters 18. Extrication 19. Murder and the lying machine 20. Copying the papers 21. The Rand letter 22. Capitol Hill 23. Leaving Rand 24. Kissinger 25. Congress 26. To the New York Times 27. May Day 1971 28. Approaching June 13 29. Going underground 30. The war goes on 31. The road to Watergate 32. End of a trial.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 471-475) and index. American Book Awards, Winner, 2003