I never met Michael Kelly, but admired him as an outstanding newspaper columnist and the author of what is probably the best book on the Gulf War, Martyr’s Day. I did, however, have an opportunity to work with him over the phone when he edited The New Republic. He was simply the best line editor I’ve encountered in the business. Editors improve just about everything I write, but Kelly took a pretty good piece and made a few parts of it really sing. He didn’t transform anything, just made a handful simple changes that gave my article a big boost. He was an enormous talent and a good man.