The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)

Daniel Ellsberg is one of the most influential men of the 20th Century. In terms of politics, perhaps the most influential of its second half. Arguably, he single-handedly brought an end to both the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration, itself the tail end of a political hegemony in the US that had lasted since the early 1950s.

This brooding, intense and comprehensive documentary charts how the polymath Rand Corporation intellectual went from commanding a company of Marines in the jungle as an ultra-hawk and key node in the intelligence-gathering and decision-making apparatus of Secretary of Defence Robert MacNamara, to being the biggest whistle-blower in American history when he released top secret documents exposing the whole sordid covert history of US Government involvement in Vietnam to the New York Times in 1971.

It’s an amazing story, and like many tell-alls by high-level baby boomer insiders being released in the 21st Century, it contains explosive information that investigators during the sixties and seventies spent whole careers trying to get hold of, often unsuccessfully. We in the information age can watch it all unfold in a well-presented and articulate media presentation.

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