Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Monday, April 23, 2007

David Halberstam, R.I.P.

I was saddened this afternoon to hear of the passing of author David Halberstam. In an eerie coincidence, I had this very morning picked up Summer of '49 -- by no means for the first time -- to read on my commute.

Halberstam was best known for his political writing -- Vietnam, Kennedys, that kind of thing. That's how he got his Pulitzer, and that's what his obituaries will lead off with. I don't know anything about any of that, but let me explain briefly how I know he was a great writer: I hate the Yankees; I hate the Red Sox; I hate nostalgia. Summer of '49 is about the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the formative memories of Baby Boomers, and it's still one of my top five baseball books.

More satisfying if less accomplished is October 1964, a morality tale in which the good guys win because the Yankees are racists. I heartily recommend both and regret that there will never be another installment.

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