Monday, April 23, 2007

David Halberstam 1937-2007

Famed reporter and Vietnam war critic David Halverstam died today in a multicar automobile accident in California.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Halberstam, whose work for the New York Times on the Vietnam War led many to question the U.S. military presence there, died on Monday in a car crash in Northern California.

As young man in the Southeast Asian nation in the early 1960s, he was one of a small group of intrepid reporters who questioned the official Washington line that the United States was winning the war. The New York Times had to resist pressure from the Kennedy administration to take him out of the country, and he won the Pulitzer Prize at age 30.

His 1965 book "The Making of a Quagmire" described how the United States got involved in the war in 1961 and 1962 and helped link the word quagmire with the Vietnam War. In 1972 he wrote "The Best and The Brightest," which made the case the best minds in the U.S. government had engaged the country in an intractable and unwinnable war.

Recently, he drew parallels between the current U.S. war in Iraq and the past failure in Vietnam.

His writings had a profound effect on this blogger.

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