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The Best and the Brightest Audiobook

The Best and the Brightest

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Publisher's Summary

David Halberstam's masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy, with a new foreword by Senator John McCain.

Using portraits of America's flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country's recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.

©2002 David Halberstam (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"The most comprehensive saga of how America became involved in Vietnam.... [I]t is also The Iliad of the American empire and The Odyssey of this nation's search for its idealistic soul." (The Boston Globe)

"Seductively readable.... [I]t is a staggeringly ambitious undertaking that is fully matched by Halberstam's performance." (Newsweek)

"A rich, entertaining, and profound reading experience." (The New York Times )

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (95 )
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4.7 (85 )
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4.7 (86 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Chiefkent Gulfport, MS USA 06-12-17
    Chiefkent Gulfport, MS USA 06-12-17 Member Since 2017

    chiefkent

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Preparation for Ken Burns"

    I first read this book some 45 years ago and decided that it was time for a refresher with Ken Burns' series on Vietnam coming up on PBS. Scary part was how much I'd forgotten about the LBJ period of self delusion. The historical background from WWII up the JFK period, (missed opportunities), is absolutely fascinating. FDR had no intention of allowing the French to regain possession of Indochina post-war. Sadly all his plans died with him. Even then, the US was against French reoccupation but the British were kind enough to rearm the interned French forces prior to leaving for Burma and Malaya. Instant civil war with the Viet Minh who had been fighting the Japanese. Unfortunately this war coincided with Korea and de Gaulle convinced the US that Indochina was an extension of Korea. American assistance followed.

    The most interesting aspect of the book for me was the historical dichotomy that trapped JFK to even pay attention to Vietnam. The convergence of domestic political history and the historical geopolitical circumstances placed JFK in a no-win situation that he was barely juggling when he was assassinated. He was poorly served by his advisors, including RFK as the deaths of Diệm and his brother amply demonstrated. You need to listen to this tome, (and at 37 hrs., it IS a tome), but Mark Bramhall's voice makes it enjoyable, without detracting from the verbiage. Five Stars across the board!!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kilian Schneider 06-01-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Before there was "groupthink""

    Anyone with interest in what is happening *now* would do VERY well to pick up this $56+ masterwork for a credit or free trial w Audible. The book is 37 hours long, never boring. The facts contained here are jaw dropping, literally. Halbertam's body of work is generally amazing. This book is that book where I must use the M word: MASTERWORK. The delivery is duly dry and inspired: reader lets the facts do the work. Probably the best value four a credit I've used in 14 years w Audible.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer peg linstrom 08-06-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could not get through the intro... 25 minutes."

    I have 100's of audible books. this author's tone, style, "voice" was off putting. I returned it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    johnathan 08-05-17
    johnathan 08-05-17 Member Since 2016
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    2
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    "The Best Political History of Viet Nam"
    If you could sum up The Best and the Brightest in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent writing, fantastic reader.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Best and the Brightest?

    The background of the Kennedy involvement.


    What about Mark Bramhall’s performance did you like?

    Steady and smooth.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, It would take over a whole day.


    Any additional comments?

    I will by the "Prequel" about Korea

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Anderson 08-05-17 Member Since 2015
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    "A conspiracy of lies in a government gone mad."

    Unfortunately, a worse situation exists in the US today. This book serves warning of what is possible in a secretive and paranoid administration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Scottsdale, AZ USA 08-03-17
    Kindle Customer Scottsdale, AZ USA 08-03-17 Member Since 2014

    Stargazer

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    "Shaking my head"

    A marvelous and tragic story of how the US stumbled into Vietnam. So many squandered opportunities to avoid the quagmire and so much dissembling and dishonesty on the part of the government.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ezra Ogorek 07-16-17
    Ezra Ogorek 07-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    "I could not keep my ears away from this book"

    Having been of draft age during the war i and my generation were saddened and disgusted by our country's increasing decline into a maelstrom from which it could not seem to emerge. The frustration we felt was at the burning core of the social unrest of the 60's.
    With this book, which i started reading in college, the historical fault lines and the tensions upon the key actors is now put into its proper perspective. This book is Halberstam's magnum opus.
    I highly recommend to listeners his book THE COLDEST WAR which was written long after THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTESTMany of thesame forces were at work both in Korea and Viet Nam

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Titus 07-15-17
    Ron Titus 07-15-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Long and tedious but..."

    It was a grind, but I am interested in the period, the people, and politics. I may even listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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