Philip Caputo - 'A Rumor of War' (1977)

A Rumor of War


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“To call it the best book about Vietnam is to trivialize it . . . A Rumor of War is a dangerous and even subversive book, the first to insist—and the insistence is all the more powerful because it is implicit—that the reader ask himself these questions: How would I have acted? To what lengths would I have gone to survive? The sense of self is assaulted, overcome, subverted, leaving the reader to contemplate the deadening possibility that his own moral safety net might have a hole in it. It is a terrifying thought, and A Rumor of War is a terrifying book.”
—John Gregory Dunne, Los Angeles Times Book Review

A Rumor of War is more than one soldier’s story. Upon its publication in 1977, it shattered America’s indifference to the fate of the men sent to fight in the jungles of Vietnam. In the years since then, it has become not only a basic text on the Vietnam War but also a renowned classic in the literature of wars throughout history and, as Caputo explains, of “the things men do in war and the things war does to men.”

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I just finished reading A Rumor of War. I just want to say that I really enjoyed it. Your story left me with a deeper respect and a greater appreciation for all those young men that served in Vietnam. Thank you for the book and your service.

As I read on in A Rumor of War the author speaks more of the Kennedy era and explains how he felt his enlisting for the Marines was due to the patriotic tide as well as the fact of he hated his suburban life. So this leaves me wondering, was enlisting more about being swept away in the propaganda or was it a get a way for the young boys?