my day is made. found another rock-star writer-- meaning somebody who's produced at least five non-fiction books, and can write well. the opening of Firehouse alone should be studied in narrative writing classes for how to build tension, brings out facts one-by-one for maximum impact, and create journalistic integrity combined with hollywood-level drama. Halberstam has always been fascinated by personas and personalities--he wrote an entire book about [b:The Fifties|75402|The Fifties|David Halberstam|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320473412s/75402.jpg|719653] which was chapter-by-chapter research into individual public figure's lives, and here, in the examination of 9/11's impact on one firehouse, he's done that brilliant tactical move--instead of trying to study the whole thing (and undoubtedly running into heavy competition), he's studied the whole through one element-- one firehouse, the upper west side, each of the firemen and their personal relationships.
the result is both scholarship and journalistic excellence. 4/5, and I hope to acquire further Halberstam to read the entire life's work. like [a:Simon Winchester|14053|Simon Winchester|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1286848563p2/14053.jpg] and [a:Niall Ferguson|5790|Niall Ferguson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1248268930p2/5790.jpg], apparently quite capable of dealing with diverse topics and a large and strong output.