Since the 1971 Pentagon Papers incident, numerous books, articles, documentaries, and memoirs have examined the events and their lasting impact. This page collects these resources and provides links to additional resources on government secrecy, ethics in journalism, the Nixon and Johnson administrations, and other related topics.

Click on the links below to skip down to the the listed resources. If you have suggestions of resources to add to our collection, please email us at topsecretplay at

Resources on the Pentagon Papers

Collections and Archives about the Pentagon Papers

Books about the Pentagon Papers

Multimedia (Documentaries, Interviews, and other Recordings) on the Pentagon Papers

News and Journal Articles about the Pentagon Papers

Books by Pentagon Papers Participants

Resources for the Classroom about the Pentagon Papers

Other Resources

Books and Resources on the Nixon and Johnson Administrations

Books and Resources about Government Secrecy Issues

Web Resources on Journalism Practice and Ethics


Collections and Archives about the Pentagon Papers

The New York Times. The New York Times has opened a “Times Topic” on the Pentagon Papers, available here, featuring collected Times articles along with links to audio of the Supreme Court arguments, the text of the Papers, and other resources. In making this site, the Times appears to have provided free access to three reflections written on the 30th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers’ publication, including one by Daniel Ellsberg, one by Les Gelb (‘primary author’ of the Pentagon Papers), and one by Tony Lewis, which included, crucially, the first reported about-face by William B. Macomber. The archive also contains a reflection by R.W. Apple on the 25th anniversary of the Papers case.


The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, Lies, and Audio Tapes is a web-based archive of the court cases that arose regarding the Pentagon Papers. Administrated by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, and curated by Thomas Blanton and John Prados, co-author of Inside the Pentagon Papers, it hosts a full set of the documents from the case itself, as well as information about how the record at the Supreme Court was compiled. Key features of the site include: court papers such as the Public Brief for the United States, the Secret Brief for the United States (submitted by Solicitor General Griswold, right), Brief for the Washington Post, Brief for the New York Times, and the Amicus brief of 27 members of Congress; Audio Excerpts and Transcripts from President Nixon’s private discussions on the Papers (including Kissinger on June 13 -revealing Nixon’s initial preference to prosecute the leakers rather than the newspapers – and Attorney General John Mitchell on June 14 -in which the telegram to the New York Times is decided upon, and in which Nixon calls the press ‘our enemies’); and Pentagon-Papers-related excerpts from the memoirs of Nixon, Kissinger, and Haldeman; and transcripts and audio files from the Supreme Court argument. (Although the oral argument is also available at, the GWU site separates them into separate .ram files for Griswold’s opening, Bickel’s statement for the Times, Glendon’s statement for the Post, and Griswold’s closing.)

The 30th Anniversary of the Pentagon Papers Conference Hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America at the National Press Club. This event brought together a wide variety of veterans, scholars, reporters, and legal specialists. Inside the Pentagon Papers is the book version of the proceedings. A portion of a C-SPAN video is also available here.

Collected Materials regarding Senator Gravel’s edition of the Papers. Because the version of the Pentagon Papers entered into the congressional record by Alaska Senator Mike Gravel were not copyrighted, they are available on the web in both text and PDF format, making available the contents of the papers in their original format. Many find newspaper accounts more helpful in placing the events in context, but the source material is available as redacted by Sen. Gravel. A book version was published by Beacon Press in Boston under enormous pressure. Beacon Press is the independent publishing company of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The story of that publication was the subject of a Masters Thesis by Beacon Press staff member Alison Trzop. During the legal battle about that publication, the FBI illegally seized the financial records of the church, and because Senator Gravel invoked his ‘Speech and Debate Clause’ protection, the case eventually made it to the Supreme Court. The 35th anniversary of the Gravel Edition’s Beacon publication was the subject of a UUA National Meeting. Video from the event is available in full version, and as a report by event narrator and Democracy Now host Amy Goodman.

Ellsberg.Net is the homepage for Daniel Ellsberg, which collects his writings, speeches, book reviews, and presentations. Some recent materials collected here include: Commentary on the ACLU v. NSA case, in which the ACLU tries to prevent government eavesdropping on Americans without warrants; “Where Are Iraq’s Pentagon Papers?” a Boston Globe op-ed that asks why those with information that could have, or could still, reduce casualties in the Iraq War don’t come forward with the information; audio of an interview with NPR’s Tavis Smiley; a review of Ellsberg’s memoirs in the London Review of Books; an interview encouraging leaks in the Guardian.

Books on the Pentagon Papers

The Day the Presses Stopped: A History of the Pentagon Papers Case. David Rudenstine. University of California Press, 1996. One of the most comprehensive accounts of the Pentagon Papers story, and perhaps the most definitive from a historian and legal scholar. Rudenstine, former dean of the Cardozo School of Law, was in the courtroom of Judge Murray Gurfein for the arguments depicted in Top Secret. As one of the first authors to obtain a declassified record of the secret briefs and affidavits the government presented to support its case that publication of the Papers threatened national security, Rudenstine concludes that the interests weighed in the case were less clear-cut than widely believed, with the danger to national security being, especially in the minds of the witnesses at the time, genuine and severe. The New York Times reviews the book here, and its first chapter is available here. The book grew out of Rudenstine’s 1991 article: The Pentagon Papers Case: Recovering its Meaning Twenty Years Later, 12 Cardozo L. Rev. 1869 (1991) and was the subject of a 1997 Cardozo Law School symposium that included contributions from scholars, and attorneys for the press (William Glendon) and government (Whitney North Seymour, Jr.). See Cardozo Law Review, Volume 19, Issue 4 (1998), table of contents available here.


The Papers & The Papers: An Account of the Legal and Political Battle Over the Pentagon Papers. Sanford Ungar. E.P. Dutton, 1972. This George Polk Award-winning history of the case, written by former Washington Post reporter, later head of Voice of America, and current Goucher College President Sanford Ungar, is an extraordinary account of the events that transpired both before and during the legal battle over publication, featuring excellent sourcing on the entire episode, from the newsrooms to the courtrooms. As a beat reporter assigned to the D.C. federal courts, and a member of the team that reported on the Pentagon Papers events as they unfolded, Ungar brings a unique perspective, invaluable to interpreting the events in context and providing the flavor of conversations and decision-making at the New York Times and Washington Post. Because this book was published within a year of the events, the urgency and drama in the narrative is palpable. Ungar’s 1972 essay in The Atlantic, available here, reports on aspects of the 1972 California trial of Ellsberg.


Inside the Pentagon Papers. John Prados and Margaret Pratt Porter. University of Kansas Press, 2004. This compendium of source materials and reflections resulted from a symposium held on the thirtieth anniversary of the events of the Pentagon Papers case by the Vietnam Veteran’s Association of America, and is comprised of retrospective accounts from, among others: leakers Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo; reporters Sanford Ungar, Hedrick Smith, and Don Oberdorfer; Pentagon Papers authors Mel Gurtov, Herbert Schandler, and Howard Margolis; attorneys James Goodale and William Glendon; historian and law dean David Rudenstine; and former Senator Mike Gravel. The edition includes excerpts from the classified Supreme Court briefs filed by Solicitor General Griswold, transcripts of President Nixon’s telephone tapes, and other original source materials. A portion of the symposium itself, held at the National Press Club, is available here. Anthony Lewis, legendary Times columnist and First Amendment defender, provided this piece in the New York Review of Books.

The Pentagon Papers as Published by the New York Times. Neil Sheehan, Hedrick Smith, E. W. Kenworthy and Fox Butterfield. Gerald Gold, Allan M. Siegal and Samuel Abt, eds. Quadrangle Books, 1971. Edited by the man who had his byline on the Times stories and led the team that won the Pulitzer for their publication, this is the book version of the Papers. It includes the articles, additional documents, maps, photographs, timelines, all creating a solid recounting of the contents of the papers and their implications for American history in a single condensed volume. Max Frankel, Times Washington Bureau Chief, concludes with an essay blending lessons of Vietnam with the lessons that came from publishing the Papers. The volume also includes the court documents.


The Senator Gravel Edition. The Pentagon Papers: The Defense Department History of United States Decisionmaking on Vietnam. Five Volumes Beacon Press, 1971. Published by the Beacon Press and subject to its own publication battle which also reached the United States Supreme Court, the ‘Gravel edition’ represents the document entered into the Congressional Record by anti-war Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, who was given a copy of the Papers by Ben Bagdikian of the Washington Post. Gravel himself excised information he deemed sensitive from the contents and used his power as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Works and Grounds to enter the papers into the record on the day the Supreme Court issued its decision lifting its injunction on the newspapers. He sought to use his ‘Speech and Debate Clause’ protection, to release as much of the full report as he could as part of his filibuster of the military’s conscription. These volumes are the most comprehensive available, though they still do not reflect the entirety of the contents of the papers. The final volume in this series includes interpretive essays by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.


The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War: The “Negotiating Volumes” of the Pentagon Papers. George Herring, ed. University of Texas Press, 1983. The Negotiating Volumes are the final chapters of the Pentagon Papers that were not fully published under the Senator Gravel edition or the New York Times edition because it was feared that accounts the negotiations themselves would endanger national security. Reaching nearly 900 pages, this work puts into the public arena the documentary history, identifies the operatives individually, and provides the full details that can be disclosed once ‘current affairs’ became ‘history’.

The Pentagon Papers: Abridged Edition. George Herring, ed. McGraw-Hill, 1983. University of Kentucky Professor, Guggenheim Fellow, and military and diplomatic historian George Herring uses this volume to edit an abridged version of the papers with analysis that differs in tone from the of the newspaper’s accounts, and enjoys the benefits of ten years of distance from the their first publication, allowing additional sources and revelations to be included, as well the declassification of subsequent documents.


The Pentagon Papers and the Courts: A Study in Foreign Policy-Making and Freedom of the Press. Martin Shapiro, ed. Chandler, 1972. A slim volume by a constitutional law and political science professor looks back at the Pentagon Papers case in the same way the Pentagon Papers themselves examined the Vietnam War: by examining the events from different perspectives (in this case the foreign policy establishment, the military, the newspapers, the classification and intelligence systems, and ‘news management’ aspects) laying out the documentary history (here the relevant foreign policy and government theorists and the decisions of the Supreme Court), and detailed timelines. Also similarly, the concise volumes lets the conclusions be drawn by the reader, rather than pronouncing summary conclusions on the events.


The New York Times Company v. United States: A Documentary History of the Pentagon Papers Litigation. Compiled and with an introd. by James C. Goodale, Arno Press, 1971. Prepared by former New York Times Vice-President and General Counsel, this volume contains all the legal papers and briefs filed in the District Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court, as well as transcripts of all arguments except for those proceedings held in camera from the injunction motion to the final Supreme Court decision on June 30, 1971. It includes are Washington Post case documents, and the articles themselves, but not the subsequent Ellsberg Trial.


Frederick Schauer Parsing the Pentagon Papers. Frederick Schauer. Joan Shorenstein Center (Harvard University) Research Paper R-3, 1991. This study by former Guggenheim Fellow and current Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at the Kennedy School of Government and 2007-2008 George Eastman Visiting Professor at Oxford University was one of the first works generated by a center devoted to the study of the interplay between the press and public policy, based in the Kennedy School of Government. Notably, it was at the Kennedy School of Government that, in 1966, the idea for the Pentagon Papers study was first conceived by Secretary McNamara after he was greeted by demonstrators before lecturing at a class to be given by Henry Kissinger. This volume was published during the 20th Anniversary of the Pentagon Papers.


Let’s Go! Let’s Publish: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post. Nancy Whitelaw. Morgan Press, 1999. A young-adult title for middle school students, this focuses on the personal challenges faced by Graham, and deals with the gender hurdles she had to overcome, the personal tragedy of the loss of her husband, and her courage in steering the newspaper’s course.





New York Times v. United States: National Security and Censorship. Landmark Supreme Court Cases Series. D.J. Herda. Enslow Publishing, 1994. This young adult title, for grades six and higher, also focuses less on the newspapers and more on the Supreme Court arguments. It features timelines, photos, and basic instruction in the legal issues involved.






The Pentagon Papers: National Security or the Right to Know. Supreme Court Milestones Series. Susan Dudley Gold. Benchmark Books, 2004. Another young adult title, this title, for ages 12 and above, examines the case history as it leads up to the Supreme Court.








The Pentagon Papers: National Security Versus the Public’s Right to Know. Geoffrey Campbell. Lucent Books, 2000. This book, primarily for high school students, is part of the ‘Famous Trials: Words that Changed History’ series published by Lucent, and provides a basic text of the narrative of the case. It also traces in some detail the arguments behind the parties’ legal positions.





The Pentagon Papers Trial. Kenneth Salter. Justa Publications, 1975. Developed as an educational volume for a pre-law undergraduate curriculum, this book focuses on the actual prosecution of charges against Ellsberg during his trials in California, and presents a simplified version of evidence presented (it deals only with the theft charges, not the conspiracy or espionage elements of the case). The reproduction of documentary evidence, testimony from witnesses, and motions gives a focus on trial practice.





Test of Loyalty: Daniel Ellsberg and the Rituals of Secret Government. Peter Schrag. Simon & Schuster, 1974. Told in a distinctively ironic and perceptive voice, in a tone more akin to fiction than non-fiction, Peter Schrag, a California reporter who covered the Ellsberg Trials, brings to life the personalities and events of the Pentagon Papers events, and shares his insights and suspicions about the whirl of motivations and machinations that surrounded the case and the Nixon Administration’s involvement with it. A 1971 Guggenheim Fellow, former executive editor of Saturday Review, and Sacramento Bee editorial page editor, Schrag’s account is lively and colorful.


Wild Man: The Life and Times of Daniel Ellsberg. Tom Wells. Palgrave, 2002. This biography of Ellsberg ties his actions and the subsequent cases into the larger effects on the Nixon Administration’s collapse in the years following the publication of the Papers. A useful review was published in Reason.




The Pentagon papers: national security or the right to know. Susan Dudley Gold, 2004.  A juvenile non-fiction book appropriate for teaching school children about the controversy.


Multimedia Resources on the Pentagon Papers (Documentaries, Plays, Interviews)

The Most Dangerous Man in America, a 2009 documentary on the leaking of the Pentagon Papers, by Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich premiered in New York in September 2009.  The documentary received favorable reviews from The New Yorker, and many others and has now been nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary.

The Pentagon Papers and What They Mean Today is a podcast of a 35th anniversary retrospective sponsored by the New York Times in which the paper looks back at the tradition of investigative journalism at the paper. Coming on the heels of the Times’ Pulitzer Prize for its NSA wiretapping story, this discussion has particular topicality.  Allan Siegal one of the reporters assigned to the Pentagon Papers and now the Times’ standards editor, joins First Amendment Lawyer Floyd Abrams and NSA Wiretapping Reporter James Risen for the discussion. Moderated by Jill Abramson, managing editor of the New York Times.

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: Free Speech with Ben Bradlee. When PBS’s nightly news anchor sits down with Ben Bradlee, the Post’s executive editor and lead character in Top Secret, the conversation ranges from the Watergate break-in to the rush of the ‘scoop,’ to the negotiations with government sources and the press’s treatment of anonymity. With material in both audio and transcript form, the site goes far in capturing the career of the storied newswriter and newsmaker.  Special Features: a quiz about journalistic ethics in which you sit in Ben Bradlee’s shoes making the tough calls about publication of sensitive information, granting sources anonymity, and other materials.

Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers. Radio drama, script by Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Adams. Produced by L.A. Theatre Works, 1991. Featuring Ed Asner, Hector Elizondo, and Marsha Mason, and directed by Tom Moore, this was the original audio version of Top Secret was the winner of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s 1992 Gold Award for the outstanding radio production of the year. It is available as an audiobook.

The Pentagon Papers, FX Television Network, March 2003. Written by Jason Horwitch, directed by Rod Holcomb, this television drama was redistributed as a DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment, featuring James Spader as Daniel Ellsberg. Ellsberg was not consulted during the production, but reviews the film here.






PBS Frontline: NewsWars is a four-part special produced for Public Broadcasting’s award-winning investigative reporting series. This series of one-hour programs examines the relationship between the press and the government, specifically the increase in secrecy in the Bush administration. The massive reporting project involved more than 50 interviews with the nation’s most prominent news figures and newsmakers. Special Pentagon Papers related features include: A page devoted to the Pentagon Papers; and interviews of Ben Bradlee, Executive Editor of the Washington Post; James Goodale, General Counsel to the New York Times.

How the Pentagon Papers Came to be Published by the Beacon Press: A Remarkable Story Told by Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Dem Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel and Unitarian Leader Robert West. Radio program where participants recount the story of the Pentagon Papers.


Key Articles about the Pentagon Papers

Journal Articles

Cardozo Law Review Symposium on The Day the Presses Stopped. In 1997, Cardozo Law School’s law review hosted a symposium on The Day the Presses Stopped, the comprehensive history of the Pentagon Papers story written by then-Dean of the law school, David Rudenstine. Contributions to the symposium were published in Volume 19, Issue 4 of the Law Review as follows:

David Rudenstine. The Book in Retrospect. 1283. Dean Rudenstine reviews reactions to his book and discusses the meaning of the term ‘national security,’ the amount of discretion given to the newspaper editors by the courts, and subsequent cases in which the difference between obtaining information and publishing it has shown the press to be responsible as gatekeepers.

William Glendon. The Pentagon Papers-Victory for a Free Press. 1295. Glendon was lead counsel for the Washington Post and delivered its arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. This concise and vivid first-person account of events provides a thorough yet intimate recounting of the events.

Joel Gora. The Pentagon Papers Case and the Path Not Taken: A Personal Memoir on the First Amendment and the Separation of Powers. 1311. Told by a former ACLU staff member who contributed to that organization’s amicus brief in favor of the newspapers, this article examines the separation of powers argument, which argued that any prior restraint is unconstitutional not only because of the First Amendment, but because prior restraint is not within the power of the Executive Branch’s inherent authority in the first place.

Fredrick Lawrence. The Collision of Rights in Violence-Conducive Speech. 1333. This more theoretical article discusses the rights of speakers to advocate speech that refrains from dismissing violence.

Aviam Soifer. Born Classified, Born Free: An Essay for Henry Schwarzschild. 1385. This article, written by First Amendment Scholar and University of Hawaii Law Dean, examines the case from the premise of how both the legal issues ‘classified’ the case into a pure prior restraint case when so many other issues were also contested (such as separation of powers), and how the governments ‘classification’ of the documents themselves changes the prospects in litigation.


Peter D. Junger. Down Memory Lane: The Case of the Pentagon Papers, 23 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 3 (1971). This law review article discusses in detail the separation of power legal concerns which were never fully settled by the court. Stanley Godofsky and Howard Rogatnick. Prior Restraints: The Pentagon Papers Case Revisited. 18 Cumb. L. Rev. 527 (1987). Media litigators from Rogers & Wells review the effect of Pentagon Papers on the law of prior restraint until 1987. Richard A. Falk. The Nuremberg Defense in the Pentagon Papers Case. 13 Colum. J. Transnat’l L. 210 (1974). Eminent Princeton legal and human rights scholar Richard Falk considers whether Ellsberg and Russo’s actions in leaking the Pentagon Papers could be considered, under international law, an effort to limit their participation in what they viewed an illegal war as Nuremberg precedent urges civilians to do.


A. M. Rosenthal. The New York Times and the Pentagon Papers: An Address by A. M. Rosenthal. University of Arizona Press, 1971. Rosenthal, then the Managing Editor of the Times, received the University of Arizona’s John Peter Zenger Award for freedom of the press on behalf of the New York Times’ publication of the Papers. A. M. Rosenthal. “Thanks to Bold Counsel, the Pentagon Papers Made It Into Print.” Editorial. Los Angeles Daily Journal 19 June 1991, 16.


Erwin Griswold. “The Pentagon Papers Case.” Supreme Court Historical Society Yearbook. 1984. 1112. In the reprint of this speech to the 1972 Association of American Law Schools Convention in New York, Griswold discussed his experiences as Solicitor General of the United States, including his involvement with the Pentagon case. Erwin Griswold. “Secrets Not Worth Keeping.” Washington Post. 15 Feb. 1989, A25. In this much-cited op-ed, Griswold, who had argued for the government, admitted that in his estimation he had never really seen a danger to national security from the publication of the Papers.


William Glendon. “Fifteen Days in June that Shook the First Amendment: A First Person Account of the Pentagon Papers Case.” New York State Bar Journal. Nov. 1993: 24. Glendon represented the Washington Post from the District to Supreme Court; in this article, he retells his experiences as well as how he became involved. This article was reprinted in the Cardozo Law Review’s symposium issue. Whitney North Seymour, Jr. “Press Paranoia — Delusions of Persecution in the Pentagon Papers Case.” New York State Bar Journal. Feb. 1994: 10. Seymour supports the government’s actions during the Pentagon case and sharply criticizes the conduct of the newspapers. This article was reprinted in the Cardozo Law Review’s symposium issue.

Newspaper Articles

Curbing the Press: Why the government and the media haven’t been this antagonistic since the Pentagon Papers case. Liz Halloran and Scott Michels, U.S. News and World Report (June 4, 2006)

The Presses Must Roll, by Gary Kamiya in (July 1, 2003). Salon’s executive editor, takes a look back at the case and provides a helpful overview.



Hey, hey, LBJ, got any secrets to throw my way? By George Wilson (July 29, 2006). Former Washington Post military correspondent George Wilson recounts the episode of his courtroom encounter with the Pentagon Papers for the Watchdog Project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University.

Nat Hentoff, columnist and First Amendment advocate, draws parallels between Pentagon papers and today’s issues in a two-part Village Voice column: The Enemy Within (January 21, 2007) and Afraid of Freedom? (January 26, 2007).
Public Secrets by Robert Kaiser (June 11, 2006). Long-time Post Managing Editor reviews that paper’s recent record in light of its Pentagon Papers history.


Secrets and the Press by H.D.S. Greenway (January 17, 2006). Boston Globe columnist draws parallels between NSA wiretapping story and the Pentagon Papers Cases.

Books by Pentagon Papers Participants

Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg. Viking, 2002. Reviewed favorably by the Dean of Columbia’s Journalism School in the New Yorker.

Papers on the War. Daniel Ellsberg. Simon & Schuster, 1972. Collected speeches and articles of the noted leaker.

Personal History. Katharine Graham. Knopf, 1997. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for biography, this autobiography describes her years explains the public and personal triumphs of one of history’s most memorable Washingtonians. A Nora Ephron review appeared in the Times.





A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures. Ben Bradlee. Simon & Schuster, 1996. The Post’s executive editor, after the Pentagon Papers, went on to leadthe Post through its next press-government crisis during the Watergate break-in. The recounting of these and other public milestones make up this textured autobiography.




First Rough Draft: A Journalist’s Journal of Our Times. Chalmers Roberts. Praeger, 1973. As the Washington Post’s chief diplomatic correspondent at the time of the Pentagon Papers, Chalmers was in the action and wrote many of the stories that would become history.



United States Attorney: An Inside View of ‘Justice’ in America Under the Nixon Administration. Whitney North Seymour, Jr. William Morrow, 1975. The U.S. Attorney prosecuted the New York Times for their publication. This autobiography also reveals disagreements between his office and the office of the Attorney General.



Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment. Floyd Abrams. Viking, 2005. The Pentagon Papers case, early in Abrams career, made him one of the nation’s most sought-after First Amendment attorneys. This volume does not cover the Judith Miller/Valerie Plame cases. First Amendment scholar Geoffrey Stone reviewed it here, and the First Amendment Center also carried a review.




In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. Robert McNamara (with Brian VanDeMark). Random House, 1995. Selected excerpts are available.






Lyndon B. Johnson. The Vantage Point: Perspectives on the Presidency, 1963-1969. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971.





Henry Kissinger, White House Years. Little, Brown and Company, 1979.






Richard M. Nixon, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. Gossett & Dunlap, 1978.






Citizen Power. Mike Gravel. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972. This is the 1972 platform of the former Alaskan Senator who released the Pentagon Papers to the public record. He discusses the dangers of classification and his experience as an intelligence officer.




A Political Odyssey. Mike Gravel. Seven Stories Publisher, 2008. The former US Senator from Alaska and 2008 presidential candidate who released the Pentagon Papers writes about foreign and military policy, modern America, and the imperial presidency. This work assesses Gravel’s political and personal experiences and they individuals he knew through them.

The Supreme Court. William H. Rehnquist. Vintage. Rev. ed. 2002. The late Chief Justice of the United States was an assistant U.S. attorney general during the Pentagon Papers; he sought the injunction to stop publication. This book provides a great introduction to the Supreme Court’s role in the United States government.

Educational Resources

The L.A. Theatre Works Teacher’s Guide to Top Secret was produced in conjunction with the 1991 Radio version of the production as part of its “Alive and Aloud: Radio Plays for Learning in the Classroom” program and is suited for students in middle to lower high-school, and includes bibliography, context.

More detail on additional textbooks designed for the classroom is provided above in the “books” section:

The American Journalism Review’s “AJR in the Classroom” program provides a lesson plan for questions about how to consider whether sensitive information should be published, appropriate for journalism classes at the high school or college level. The exercise is based on an article that examines recent trends in publication or withholding of publication. Additionally, the web features examples of excellent student projects about the Pentagon Papers on the high school and college levels.

The Nixon and Johnson Administrations Generally

Robert Dallek. Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960 (1991); Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1961-1973 (1998); Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (2007)

Robert Caro. The Years of Lyndon Johnson (3 volumes as of 2006): The Path to Power (1982); Means of Ascent (1990); Master of the Senate(2002).

David Halberstam. The Best and the Brightest. Random House, 1972.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days. Simon & Schuster, 1976.

Stephen Ambrose. Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972. Simon & Schuster, 1989.

Seyom Brown, The Crisis of Power. Columbia, 1979.

John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment Oxford, 1982.

Raymond Garthoff, Detente and Confrontation. Brookings, 1985.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Lyndon Johnson & the American Dream New American Library, 1977.

David Kaiser. American tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the origins of the Vietnam War. Belknap, 2000.