Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, by Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg was a hard-line cold warrior employee at the Pentagon, but a two-year stint in Vietnam with the State Department made him skeptical about the outcome of the war and critical of the government’s account of it. He leaked what became known as the Pentagon Papers, the government’s own account of how the war was going, to the Washington Post and the New York Times. One could wish that Ellsberg wrote with more grace or that his editors would have trimmed the book by a fifth, but the reader who perseveres is rewarded with a behind-the-scenes account of the government’s bungling of and obfuscation about the Vietnam War. Ellsberg’s story is all the more relevant at a time when Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are under fire for unveiling government secrets.