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Film Discussion Guide

Download the discussion guide for the documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America and use it for facilitating conversation about this film at home, in the classroom or at community screenings.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Discussion Guide

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The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers is, at its core, the story of a man who experienced a moment of moral conscience that changed his life and changed a nation.

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a leading Vietnam War strategist, discovered that the role of the United States in Vietnam was based on lies that spanned the terms of five presidents (Truman through Nixon). In a daring act of conscience, he leaked 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, several other newspapers and select political leaders. His actions played a major role in Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation, a precedent-setting Supreme Court case prohibiting prior restraint of journalists and, eventually, the end of the Vietnam War.

As an outreach tool, this riveting account, told by Ellsberg and a who’s-who of Vietnam-era movers and shakers, raises questions about ethics, journalism, national security, the separation of powers, democracy and the legacy of government deception.

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Film Information

The Most Dangerous Man in America (90 min.)

Premiere Date: October 5, 2010

Encore Broadcast Date: June 7, 2011

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmakers: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: 2011 Encore Broadcast | Fact Sheet | Peabody Award | Updated New York Times/POV Panel Press Release | Critical Acclaim | Oscar Nomination | Emmy Nomination | 2010 Premiere Broadcast | POV Awards Community Engagement Grants


Judith Ehrlich
Judith Ehrlich
Rick Goldsmith
Rick Goldsmith

Film Update

Critical Acclaim

2010 Academy Award Nominee, Best Documentary Feature”

— The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

A Must-See. Crams a wealth of material into 90 minutes without losing clarity or momentum. … A unique fusion of personal and social drama.”

— Ronnie Scheib,

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The Most Dangerous Man in America Discussion Guide PDF

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