> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 15 August 2017
  • ISBN: 9781847925138
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $35.00

A Rumor Of War


Formats & editions


The original Vietnam memoir and a great classic of war literature with a new introduction from Kevin Powers – 40th Anniversary Edition

The first memoir of the Vietnam War and an all-time classic of war literature
|40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION|

In March 1965, Marine Lieutenant 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 but emotionally destroyed, his youthful idealism shattered.

A decade later, having reported first-hand the very final hours of the war, Caputo sat down to write ‘simply a story about war, about the things men do in war and the things war does to them’. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest war memoirs of all time.
____________________

‘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’ The New York Times

‘Unparalleled in its honesty, unapologetic in its candour and singular in its insights into the minds and hearts of men in combat, this book is as powerful to read today as the day it was published in 1977. Caputo has more than earned his place beside Sassoon, Owen, Vonnegut, and Heller’ Kevin Powers

‘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 readers asks themselves 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

‘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

‘Superb. At times it is hard to remember that this is not a novel’ New Statesman

  • Pub date: 15 August 2017
  • ISBN: 9781847925138
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $35.00

About the Author

Philip Caputo

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 two volumes of memoir, A Rumor of War and Means of Escape. A contributing editor for Esquire, Philip Caputo has also written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.

Also by Philip Caputo

See all

Praise for A Rumor Of War

“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

“Unparalleled in its honesty, unapologetic in its candour and singular in its insights into the minds and hearts of men in combat, this book is as powerful to read today as the day it was published in 1977. Caputo has more than earned his place beside Sassoon, Owen, Vonnegut, and Heller”

Kevin Powers

“All men who go to war experience a moral as well as a physical odyssey, but few were as dramatic as that of Philip Caputo … a sensation that was elevated to instant classic status … I would rate his book much higher than Michael Herr’s celebrated Dispatches … much of the value of this immensely readable tale of a young man’s murderous follies is that he tells many things that are not peculiar to Vietnam, but embrace the behaviour and feelings – or lack of them – of soldiers on all battlefields”

Max Hastings, Sunday Times

“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 readers asks themselves 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

“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

“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”

Colin Smith, The Week

“A classic”

Guardian


Related titles