In March 1965, Marine Lieutnant Philip J. Caputo landed in Danang with the first ground combat unit committed to fight in Vietnam. Sixteen months later, having served on the line in one of modern history's ugliest wars, he returned home - physically whole, emotionally wasted, his youthful idealism shattered. A decade later, Caputo would write in A Rumor of War, 'This is simply a story about war, about the things men do in war and the things war does to them'.
It is far more then that. It is, as Theodore Solotaroff wrote in the New York Times Book Review, 'the troubled conscience of America speaking passionately, truthfully, finally'. It is the book that shattered America's deliberate indifference to the fate of the men it sent to fight in the jungles of Vietnam, and in the years since it was first published it has become a basic text on that war. But in the literature of war that stretches back to Homer, it has also taken its place as an esteemed classic to rank alongside All Quiet on the Western Front and The Naked and the Dead.
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Caputo's troubled, searching meditations on the love and the hate of war, on fear, and the ambivalent discord warfare can create in the hearts of decent men, are, amongst the most eloquent I have read in modern literature - New York Review of Books
A singular and marvellous work - a soldier's-eye account that tells us, as no other book that I can think of has done, what it was actually like to be fighting in this hellish jungle - New York Times
Superb...At times it is hard to remember that this is not a novel - New Statesman
This was that war's first big book by a veteran, and still the best - The Week
To call this the best book about Vietnam is to trivialize it... A Rumour of War is a dangerous and even subversive book, the first to insist...that the reader asks himself the questions: How would I have acted? To what lengths would I have gone to survive?... A terrifying book...it will make the strongest among us weep - Los Angeles Times Book Review
Mustered out of the Marine Corps in 1967, Philip Caputo went on to a prize-winning career as a journalist, covering the war in Beirut and the fall of Saigon before leaving the Chicago Tribune to devote himself to writing full-time. His novels are Horn of Africa, DelCorso's Gallery, Indian Country and Equation for Evil. He is also the author of a collection of novellas, Exiles, and a second volume of memoir, Means of Escape. Philip Caputo has been a contributing editor for Esquire, and has also written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.