Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Opinion (Christopher Dickey): The Re-Making of a Quagmire

The most fitting tribute to a great author is to take his books off the shelf and read them again. I suspect--I hope--that every bookstore in America will be selling out of David Halberstam’s works over the next few days. As the fine encomiums written by my colleagues Jon Meacham, Evan Thomas and Mark Starr attest, Halberstam was an idol for all of us who’ve tried to write first drafts of history, because his were as good or better than just about any drafts that have come since.

On Amazon.com Halberstam’s most famous book, “The Best and the Brightest,” published in 1972 about the hubris in Washington that got us into Vietnam, is now ranked in the top thousand. Many of his other books are easily available online, including “The Powers that Be” about the press and his several elegant and affable volumes on sports heroes.

But, as sometimes happens, the book by Halberstam that people most need to read and understand today is one that no longer is in print, the one he published in 1965 called “The Making of a Quagmire.”

Read the rest at Newsweek