Tuesday, April 24, 2007

David Halberstam dead at 73

It would be hard to believe that anyone who reads books would not have read one of David Halberstam's excellent books.

Today comes news that Halberstam was tragically killed in a traffic accident - as the NY Times reports:

"David Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and tireless author of books on topics as varied as America’s military failings in Vietnam, the deaths of firefighters at the World Trade Center and the high-pressure world of professional basketball, was killed yesterday in a car crash south of San Francisco. He was 73, and lived in Manhattan."

And:

"Mr. Halberstam came into his own as a journalist in the early 1960s covering the nascent American war in South Vietnam for The New York Times.

His reporting, along with that of several colleagues, left little doubt that a corrupt South Vietnamese government supported by the United States was no match for Communist guerrillas and their North Vietnamese allies. His dispatches infuriated American military commanders and policy makers in Washington, but they accurately reflected the realities on the ground.

For that work, Mr. Halberstam shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1964. Eight years later, after leaving The Times, he chronicled what went wrong in Vietnam — how able and dedicated men propelled the United States into a war later deemed unwinnable — in a book whose title entered the language: “The Best and the Brightest.”

Mr. Halberstam went on to write more than 20 books, including one on the Korean War scheduled to be published in the fall."

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