David Halberstam: A Teller of Hard Truths
Poynter Online: How David Halberstam Changed My Life
NPR: A Reporter's Memories of Writer David Halberstam [Real Player]
"Nashville was my graduate school"
American Writers: David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan & The Vietnam War Writers [Real Player
Mass Humanities: David Halberstam Interview
In the early 1960s, a number of journalists began to document the changing and shifting values of American culture, and David Halberstam was right there at the forefront of this important movement. Halberstam passed away this past Monday as the result of injuries he sustained during a car crash in the city of Menlo Park, California. True to his dedication to reporting, Halberstam was on his way to interview Y.A. Tittle, who played football for the New York Giants in the 1950s. Halberstam cut his teeth as the managing editor of The Harvard Crimson as an undergraduate, and then he moved on to write about the early years of the civil-rights movement for both the West Point Daily Times Leader and later for The Nashville Tennessean. He later went on to report on the war in Vietnam, and in 1964 he shared in a Pulitzer Prize with his colleagues at the New York Times. He went on to write over twenty books which explored the 1950s, the world of Michael Jordan (and by extension, the world of professional basketball), and perhaps his most well known work, "The Best and the Brightest". Perhaps Orville Schell, the dean of Berkeley's graduate school of journalism, said it best when he was asked how he felt about Halberstam's sudden death, and remarked that: "What can one say? The fragility of life sometimes just intrudes with a kind of savageness."
The first link will take visitors to an excellent obituary of Halberstam written by the Baltimore Sun's own Larry Williams. The second link leads to a piece from Newsweek written by Evan Thomas who remembers his own encounters with Halberstam's work and sphere of influence. The third link will take visitors to another touching piece from the Poynter Institute's David Shedden on his experiences with Halberstam as a source of inspiration. The fourth link leads to an interview from NPR's All Things Considered with his friend, colleague, and fellow writer, Neil Sheehan. Moving along, the fifth link leads to Halberstam's memories of his time as a reporter for the Nashville Tennessean. The sixth link leads to a marvelous two-hour program featuring Halberstam and Neil Sheehan as they talk about their writings on the Vietnam War. Finally, the last link leads to an insightful interview conducted with Halberstam in 2004 for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.