The Zinn Education Project is proud to have prepared a 100-page teaching guide for the award-winning film The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. This documentary tells the riveting story of how a Pentagon official risks life in prison by leaking 7,000 pages of a top-secret report to the New York Times to help stop the Vietnam War. Produced by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, The Most Dangerous Man in America broadcast nationally in October as part of the PBS Point of View (POV) series.
The teaching guide is designed for middle school, high school, and college social studies and language arts classrooms. It provides eight lessons intended to enhance student understanding of the issues raised in the film. Using a variety of teaching strategies, including role play, critical reading, discussion, mock trial, small group imaginative writing, and personal narrative, the curriculum encourages students to consider some of Vietnam’s lessons. One key lesson of the film is that we all have the potential to be “truth-tellers.” While not all students will have the opportunity to affect the course of history as Daniel Ellsberg did, all will be in positions to make important decisions in the name of justice.
The teaching guide is available for free download on the Zinn Education Project website.