The late David Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who wrote about power, politics, and professional sports, will be honored this week in the city where his journalism career began.
Halberstam, a 1955 graduate of Harvard College, died in a car crash in 2007. As an undergraduate, he worked long hours at the Harvard Crimson, first as sports editor and then as managing editor. At the time of his death, he was on his way to an interview for a book he was writing about the NFL championship football game in 1958.
The Cambridge City Council will dedicate the corner of Bow and Mount Auburn streets as Halberstam Square during a ceremony at 4 p.m. Wednesday. A reception at the Crimson offices will follow.
At 6 p.m., a panel discussion at Harvard’s Kennedy School will explore Halberstam’s legacy as a reporter. His coverage of the war in Vietnam and his critique of US policy angered the nation’s leaders and raised doubts that the war could be won.
In Clarke’s novel, being released Tuesday by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 9-year-old Miller Le Ray’s dad has left home, and the boy reasons that he can make his family whole again if he can locate Frederick Exley, his dad’s favorite writer. Exley is the author, in real life, of the 1968 cult classic “A Fan’s Notes.”
Miller’s search, like that of Christopher’s in “Curious Incident,” underscores the gulf that can exist between parents and their children.
The disaster remains the most deadly air crash in US history involving a bird strike. It stayed with Michael N. Kalafatas, who was a student at Boston English High School at the time. After he retired in 2002, he set out to discover everything he could about the crash. The result is a compact history and call to action titled “Bird Strike: The Crash of the Boston Electra” (Brandeis).
Kalafatas criticizes the media for focusing on human interest stories following the so-called Miracle on the Hudson crash landing last year. He suggests that reporters should have paid more attention to the issue of bird strikes and what is being done to prevent similar accidents. The Federal Aviation Administration does not require pilots to report bird strikes even though the National Transportation Safety Board has urged it to do so and the data might help the agency improve air safety.
■ “The Great Movies III” by Roger Ebert (University of Chicago)
■ “The Next Queen of Heaven” by Gregory Maguire (Harper)
Jan Gardner can be reached at JanLGardner@yahoo.com.