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As if He Isn’t Busy Enough: Met Museum Head to Write Book


Daniel H. Weiss is writing a book about the American experience during the Vietnam era.

Joshua Bright for The New York Times

Daniel H. Weiss, who this month became the top official at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has sold a book about America’s experience in the Vietnam era to Public Affairs, Mr. Weiss confirmed on Monday.

“Having an intellectual life is important to me,” he said in a telephone interview.

Mr. Weiss said he has already completed one-third of the book — to be edited by Peter Osnos — and will finish the remainder over the next year. Asked how he planned to manage this while running the country’s largest art museum in a challenging time for the institution, Mr. Weiss said: “Busy people organize their time, and I’ve always done that.”

The book, “In That Time: A Story of Loss and Reconciliation in the Era of Vietnam,” focuses on Maj. Michael Davis O’Donnell, a helicopter pilot in Vietnam whose 1970 poem — written just two months before he was shot down on a rescue mission in Cambodia — has become an important artifact from the war and is featured on the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The poem says, in part:

If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.

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