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Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers

A timely docudrama about The Washington Post's decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, documenting how America became involved in Vietnam. The subsequent trial tested the parameters of the First Amendment, pitting the public's right to know against the government's desire for secrecy. Starring Edward Asner, Hector Elizondo, Marsha Mason, Stacy Keach, Howard Hesseman, Harry Shearer, and a full cast!
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Audible Editor Reviews

History as melodrama. This exciting production, recorded before a live audience, dramatizes the Washington Post’s struggle with the Nixon administration over the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Much of the dialogue is lifted straight from the historical record. Whether or not this is accurate history, it certainly makes excellent theater, reminiscent of the agitprop (agitation/propaganda) and Living Newspaper plays of the Depression. John Rubenstein has directed his fine ensemble to play broadly and to maintain that thrill of immediacy that surely informed the actions of the actual participants. Present, too, is the humor, intentional and otherwise, that forms an important part of the story, none of it lost on a sharp and enthusiastic house. A riveting subject is given its due.

Publisher's Summary

A timely docudrama about The Washington Post's decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, documenting how America became involved in Vietnam. The subsequent trial tested the parameters of the First Amendment, pitting the public's right to know against the government's desire for secrecy. This full-cast production features Philip Abbott, Irene Arranga, Edward Asner, Ed Begley, Jr., Jack Coleman, Richard Dysart, Hector Elizondo, Bo Foxworth, Robin Gammell, Gerrit Graham, Howard Hesseman, Stacy Keach, Darrell Larson, Nan Martin, Marsha Mason, Richard Riehle, Harry Shearer, Joe Spano, James Whitmore, and Harris Yulin.

Learn more about the Pentagon Papers in Secrets by Daniel Ellsberg.

(P)1994 L.A. Theatre Works; All Rights Reserved

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    D. Littman OH 03-28-05
    D. Littman OH 03-28-05 Member Since 2003

    history buff

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    "Good threatre & interesting history"

    This very entertaining piece provides the novice & the knowledgeable with excellent material on the actual circumstances of the Pentagon Papers & the high drama of the fight over their publication. It is a good introduction to the issues, necessarily superficial given its length & format, but hopefully a teaser to learning more about Vietnam, Nixon's shenanigans, Ellsberg, press freedom & the US Constitution. For those wanting to go on to the next step in learning, I strongly recommend "Inside the Pentagon Papers," Prados & Porter, University of Kansas Press.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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