Just, Ward

Just, Ward, 1935–2019, American writer, b. Michigan City, Ind. Just worked for several newspapers and magazines before being hired (1965) by the Washington Post, for which he covered Washington politics and the Vietnam War, during which he was severely wounded. He then covered the 1968 presidential race and reported from Latin America and Europe for the Post. His To What End? (1968) is an analytical and critical appraisal of the war; his Military Men (1970), a portrait of the post-Vietnam army. Just, who published his first novel in 1970, became particularly celebrated for his knowing, often cynical tales of the public and private lives of the practitioners of politics in Washington and the way that power influences conduct, all written in a spare and graceful prose. Just began his political chronicles with the short stories of The Congressman Who Loved Flaubert (1973) and followed it with such novels as In the City of Fear (1982), Jack Gance (1989), Echo House (1997), and Exiles in the Garden (2009). His novels also include accounts of Americans abroad, such as American Romantic (2014), the story of a diplomat's life; a Vietnam tale, A Dangerous Friend (1999); and Midwestern stories, from the multigeneration saga of A Family Trust (1998) to the coming-of-age stories of An Unfinished Season (2004) and Rodin's Debutante (2011). Just also wrote a play, Lowell Limpett (2001).

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