David Halberstam, 73, Reporter and Author, Dies (NYT)

…Tall, square-jawed and graced with an imposing voice so deep that it seemed to begin at his ankles, 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.

(more…)

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One thought on “David Halberstam, 73, Reporter and Author, Dies (NYT)

  1. As a young foot-soldier in the Mississippi Freedom Movement of the early 1960s, I remember some of the visits of the young, well educated white reporters from the big city newspapers. Although we Black southeners knew that they viewed the South, and Mississippi, in particular, as another country-not fully of the America that they idealized, we realized, too, that they gave our struggle a powerful window to the outside world. Perhaps it was a two way street: many of these same reporters had their naivete about America challenged, first in the domestic battle for human rights waged by the African American people. I believe that Halberstam’s life reflected that debt.

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