David Halberstam, one of the great popular historians, journalists, and sportswriters of the late twentieth century, died yesterday in a car crash in California. His most well-known books chronicle baseball (October 1964, The Teammates), the media (The Powers That Be) and Vietnam (The Best And The Brightest). But we'll remember him as the author of the montage-style cultural history (The Fifties), and as the man who made an improbable story about unheralded athletes in an unknown sport — rowing — into one of the best sports books ever written (The Amateurs).

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