With the release of The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, the story of the Pentagon Papers has rekindled public conversation about the importance of a free press. The papers divulged the history and facts of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967, which were kept a secret from the nation until Daniel Ellsberg leaked copies of the papers to the New York Times to publish as excerpts in June of 1971. The Washington Post began printing excerpts as well. The film’s release couldn’t have come at a more relevant time. Its historical dramatization of how an administration tried to stop the paper from printing parts of the reports speaks to what we see happening now: a president openly attacking news outlets and making accusations of “fake news.” Read more →
5 posts categorized "The Pentagon Papers"
On August 17, 1971, Beacon publicly announced that it would publish The Pentagon Papers. Nobody on staff was naive about what such a commitment entailed: “A Beacon spokesman said yesterday the Gravel book is the biggest venture in the history of the small publishing firm.” The papers represented the “biggest venture” in Beacon’s long history on many levels. For starters, the papers in their submitted form—a “great container full of stuff”—presented an editorial nightmare. The manuscript that antiwar activist Leonard Rodberg brought in was composed of more than 7,000 pages of “original transcripts.” Read more →
June 13 marks the 40th anniversary of the day the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, and the federal government has finally decided to declassify them. Read more →
Gobin Stair, former Director of Beacon Press, died last Wednesday, November 26, at the age of 96. Stair joined Beacon initially as Production Manager before taking over as Director in 1962, a position he held until his retirement in 1975.... Read more →
Beacon Press and the Pentagon Papers
September 28, 2007
On this Banned Books Week, almost 36 years after Beacon Press published the Pentagon Papers in defiance of all efforts by the government to suppress them, we're reminded of the critical and continued need for books deemed “dangerous.” To remember... Read more →