Michael Herr, widely regarded as the premier chronicler of the Vietnam War, died on Thursday at the age of 76.
Today’s Boston Globe includes this Associated Press obituary. Lede:
Noooo . . . not a novel, but “the seminal work of new journalism about the Vietnam War,” as Emmett Rensin wrote in Vox. It took Herr ten years to produce Dispatches, after suffering a nervous breakdown upon his return from Vietnam and not writing anything for five years.
Rensin also noted this quote by Hunter S. Thompson: “We have all spent 10 years trying to explain what happened to our heads and our lives in the decade we finally survived . . . but Michael Herr’s Dispatches puts all the rest of us in the shade.”
The end of the AP obit notes that “[Herr’s] other books included ‘Walter Winchell,’ a 1990 novel about the powerful and irascible gossip columnist.” Actually, that is a novel, so the AP went one-for-two on the book front.
No correction attached to the Globe pickup, though. So they’re oh-for-one.