Monday, April 23, 2007

This Mortal Coil

When I was in high school, my history teacher knew of my interest (okay, obsession) with all things JFK. When we got to the Kennedy administration and assassination, he even let me "teach" class a little.

My teacher had a bookcase in the back of the classroom filled with books he thought every history student should read. One of them, a book called The Best and the Brightest, he let me borrow during second semester. It was an intense read, and a great glimpse into the inner power structures of the government at that time.

I thought of that book today while watching the news. Its author, David Halberstam, was killed in a car accident Monday morning in San Francisco.

At just thirty, Halberstam won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Vietnam War. Halberstam originally supported the war but later disagreed with U.S. policies.

Also today, the Kremlin reported that Boris Yeltsin died at the age of 76. He was the first democratically elected President of of Russia, and served 1991-1999, when he resigned.

Former Soviet President Gorbachev said Monday: "I express my deep condolences to the family of the departed. He did a lot for this country, even though he committed serious errors. A tragic fate."

Indeed.

3 comentarios:

Suzanne said...

I was really sorry to hear of David Halberstram's death. He was such a good author. Its so sad when such talented people die.

I'm getting to the age where more and more of the people I have always admired are departing this "mortal coil". Its sad....and scary. Hits way to close to home.

ivy said...

Yeltsin was and epoche in recent russian history, a contradictory figure, at first a symbol of hope and changes but towards the end of his presidency he was more and more compared to Brezhnev and seemed to have lost a thread of connection to society he was supposed to rule. War with Chechnya -part of Russia - and then introducing Putin -- a KGB chief -- as his successor and economic problems undermined his symbolic role of the guard of democracy and developement in Russia. But unlike Putin he had decent relations with media and wasn't known for persecuting media editions and journalists for critical opinion of him.

courtney01 said...

I was hoping you'd add your opinion, Ivy. Thanks for posting.

Hi Suzanne! Thanks for your comment. Take care.

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