Monday, April 23, 2007

David Halberstam Killed in Car Accident

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I was driving around on my afternoon carpool duties when I heard that David Halberstam had been killed this morning in a car accident near the Dumbarton Bridge. Apparently, he was a passenger in a car driven by a student from the Berkeley School of Journalism, where he spoke Saturday night.

I am so shocked and saddened that Halberstam died this way, before his time. On Saturday he spoke enthusiastically about his forthcoming book on the Korean War. He said he had just signed a contract for two more books. He loved his work so much.

“It gets to be more fun the more you do it,” he told the audience at his last lecture.

After the lecture, Halberstam went to Chez Panisse with a group from the journalism school. The group talkedso long they shut the restaurant down, according to Orville Schell, the dean of the school and his host for the evening.

"No one wanted to leave," Schell told the Mercury News. `It was kind of like the last supper."

Halberstam covered Vietnam, which he characterized as a fiasco, and intimated that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a mistake of even greater proportions. He recommended to the young journalists at the speech to watch the great war film, “The Battle of Algiers.” I have never seen it, but now I will make a point to rent it.

Here is the New York Times story on his death, and here is the Chronicle’s. Here’s an interview with him.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

I'm sorry your life has been touched with tragedy recently, Frances. NPR is commemorating Halberstam today with recordings of his past interviews. All these car accidents are making me nervous.