Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Yesterday's obits

Boris Yeltsin, 76, first post-Soviet leader of Russia. Admired for his attempt to bring order out of chaos after the Soviet Union's fall, and for standing firm in the face of a later Communist resurgence, Yeltsin's ham-fisted, autocratic style of leadership arguably did the Russian people more harm than good.

David Halberstam, 73, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, of injuries sustained in an auto accident. Nashville figured prominently in Halberstam's early career. He wrote for the Tennessean in the late 50's, gaining an understanding of the civil rights movement and race relations that would be a theme of his later writing. His The Best And The Brightest is one of the best books written about the Vietnam War, and other books such as The Powers That Be, The Breaks Of The Game, The Fifties, and Firehouse are useful reading for those interested in post-World War II American events and culture.