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Born: April 10, 1934 - New York, New York

Excerpt from The Best and the Brightest

Hhe real problem was the failure to reexamine the assumptions of the era, particularly in Southeast Asia. There was no real attempt, when the new Administration came in, to analyze Ho Chi Minh's position in terms of the Vietnamese people and in terms of the larger Communist world, to establish what Diem represented, to determine whether the domino theory was in fact valid. Each time the question of the domino theory was sent to intelligence experts for evaluation, they would send back answers which reflected their doubts about its validity, but the highest level of government left the domino theory alone. It was, as if, by questioning it, they might have revealed its emptiness, and would then have been forced to act on their new discovery.

Link to the work

Teaching Topics in Social Studies
This first best seller of Halberstam's traces the paths of the KENNEDY and JOHNSON ADMINISTRATIONS which shifted
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY and drew America into the VIETNAM WAR. Halberstam refused to accept the OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT OPTIMISM ABOUT VIETNAM and exposed WAR EVENTS and GOVERNMENT ACTIONS as they happened.

Teaching Topics in Language Arts
This detailed NARRATIVE accurately CHRONICLES the EVENTS and PEOPLE involved in the VIETNAM ERA.
Scavenger Hunt
Who did David Halberstam go to elementary and middle school with?
. . . answer . . .
The book EXAMINES the MOTIVATIONS of a group of brilliant, prominent men who led the nation into one of the worst embarrassments in our nation's history. Halberstam uses PRIMARY SOURCES throughout to support his MORALISTIC PREMISES.

Facts About David Halberstam and The Best and the Brightest
  • Upon graduation from Harvard, Halberstam turned down positions at several large city newspapers Instead, he moved to the Deep South, accepting a position with a small town one-reporter newspaper
  • At the age of thirty, Halberstam was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Vietnam
  • Halberstam was more frightened of being killed in the South during the 1960's Civil Rights protests than he was in Vietnam
  • Vanity Fair called Halberstam "The Moses of American journalism" for his style and epic treatment of events that "isn't afraid to draw straightforward morals"
  • The subjects of Halberstam's books range from the Vietnam War to civil rights to Michael Jordan

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