The Final Book Is A Beauty

halberstam.JPGBack in April, following the tragic death of David Halberstam, I mentioned how much I admired his books. Of course, I am far from the only one.

Fortunately for Halberstam’s readers, he had completed a manuscript before he was killed in a car accident on April 23, while on his way to an interview for a future book. That final manuscript has now been published and, as I browsed The Coldest Winter (and snapped this photo down at River City Books; click to enlarge), I was struck by how beautiful the book is. And I don’t use that word often — unless, of course, Mrs. Raven is around.

The book’s subject, the Korean War, won’t soon conjure the word beauty, however, but like so many of Halberstam’s other books, this is one every student of history should read.

One of America’s most distinguished journalists and historians, after graduating from Harvard in 1955, Halberstam covered the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement, then was sent overseas by the New York Times to report on the war in Vietnam. The author of fifteen bestsellers, including The Best and the Brightest, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his Vietnam reporting at the age of thirty.

This final book is drawing the sorts of raves Halberstam’s efforts usually did. Said Booklist in its starred review: “Commanding and evocative … Halberstam’s final work stands as the coda to his enduringly famous The Best and the Brightest.”

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