David Halberstam

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David Halberstam

92 Published BooksDavid Halberstam

David Halberstam was an American journalist and historian, known for his work on the Vietnam War, politics, history, the Civil Rights Movement, business, media, American culture, and later, sports journalism. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1964.

Halberstam graduated from Harvard University with a degree in journalism in 1955 and started his career writing for the Daily Times Leader in West Point, Mississippi. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, writing for The Tennessean in Nashville, Tennessee, he covered the beginnings of the American Civil Rights Movement.

In the mid 1960s, Halberstam covered the Vietnam War for The New York Times. While there, he gathered material for his book The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam during the Kennedy Era. In 1963, he received a George Polk Award for his reporting at the New York Times. At the age of 30, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the war. He is interviewed in the 1968 documentary film on the Vietnam War entitled In the Year of the Pig.

Halberstam's most well known work is The Best and the Brightest. Halberstam focused on the paradox that those who shaped the U.S. war effort in Vietnam were some of the most intelligent, well-connected and self-confident men in America—"the best and the brightest"—and yet those same individuals were responsible for the failure of the United States Vientnam policy.

After publication of The Best and the Brightest in 1972, Halberstam plunged right into another book and in 1979 published The Powers That Be. The book provided profiles of men like William Paley of CBS, Henry Luce of Time magazine, Phil Graham of The Washington Post—and many others.

Later in his career, Halberstam turned to the subjects of sports, publishing The Breaks of the Game, an inside look at the Bill Walton and the 1978 Portland Trailblazers basketball team; an ambitious book on Michael Jordan in 1999 called Playing for Keeps; and on the pennant race battle between the Yankees and Red Sox called Summer of '49.

Halberstam published two books in the 1960s, three books in the 1970s, four books in the 1980s, and six books in the 1990s. He published four books in the 2000s and was on a pace to publish six or more books in that decade before his death.

David Halberstam was killed in a car crash on April 23, 2007 in Menlo Park, California.