Michael Herr, author of the Vietnam War memoir Dispatches, has died. He was 76.
John le Carré called Dispatches "the best book I have ever read on men and war in our time." The book, published in 1977, was based on Herr's experiences covering the war for Esquire in the late 60s. Herr concentrated his reporting on the men on the ground, ignoring official government press conferences. The result was a book that put the experiences of combat directly into the minds of readers, peeling back the official veneer of war.
Hunter S. Thompson said of the book, “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.”
Herr is the author of four books. He also co-wrote the movie "Full Metal Jacket," and contributed to the narration of "Apocalypse Now."
The book was published by Knopf. “Dispatches is one of the seminal works of the twentieth century,” said Knopf Chairman Sonny Mehta. “And the most brilliant treatment of war and men I have ever read. It is a work that secured Michael’s legacy as one of our great writers of narrative nonfiction. Michael was also a friend to many at Knopf. We will all miss him.”