The journalist David Halberstam died last night from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was 73. Halberstam, along with Neil Sheehan & a couple of others, reinvented American journalism under the historical pressure of the American War in Vietnam. What a terrible end to an astonishing career. Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest & Sheehan's A Bright, Shining Lie defined a new approach to writing contemporary history. Between them, they nail down a decade that revolutionized the ways in which Americans conceive of themselves. Vietnam "changed everything" in a way that September 11 certainly did not. In fact, those who claim that 9/11 "changed everything" seem to imagine -- in a breathtaking act of wishful thinking -- that the terrorist attack restored the United States to some sort of pre-Vietnam state of virtue. Update: Speaking of Vietnam, see Todd Gitlin's note on Halberstam's connection of the Vietnam folly to the Iraq folly.