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Kubrick contacted Michael Herr, author of the Vietnam War memoir Dispatches (1977), in the spring of 1980 to discuss working on a film about the Holocaust, but he eventually discarded that in favor of a film about the Vietnam War. They met in England, and the director told Herr that he wanted to do a war film but had yet to find a story to adapt. Kubrick discovered Gustav Hasford's novel The Short-Timers (1979) while reading the Virginia Kirkus Review. Herr received it in bound galleys and thought that it was a masterpiece. In 1982, Kubrick read the novel twice, concluding that it "was a unique, absolutely wonderful book", and decided, along with Herr, to adapt it for his next film. According to Kubrick, he was drawn to the book's dialogue, finding it "almost poetic in its carved-out, stark quality". In 1983, Kubrick began conducting research for the film, watching past footage and documentaries, reading Vietnamese newspapers on microfilm from the Library of Congress, and studying hundreds of photographs from the era. Initially, Herr was not interested in revisiting his Vietnam War experiences, and Kubrick spent three years persuading him to participate in what the author describes as "a single phone call lasting three years, with interruptions".