Featured Guest Lecture: Philip Caputo

“Putting the Pen to the Sword”

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 5-6 p.m. • Book Signing from 6-7 p.m.
Location: Rudder Forum • Directions


Credit: Michael Priest

Philip Caputo
Author and Journalist

Rumor of War book cover

“A singular and marvelous work.” —The New York Times

In this talk, Caputo will discuss the literature of war with references back to The Iliad. He will discuss his own work and how war has influenced it.  However, he makes the point that he does not consider himself – and other writers like him – as war novelists but rather as novelists who have used war much as Joseph Conrad used the sea: as a canvas for portraying truths about human nature and human emotions.

Novelist and journalist Philip Caputo has written 15 books, including two memoirs, five books of general nonfiction, and eight novels. His acclaimed memoir of Vietnam, A Rumor of War (1997), has been published in 15 languages, has sold two million copies since its publication, and is widely regarded as a classic in the literature of war. His novel, Crossers (2009), is set against a backdrop of drug and illegal-immigrant smuggling on the Mexican border. While his Crossers-by-Philip-Caputo-193x300most recent book The Longest Road (2013) is a travel and adventure book. In addition to books, Caputo has published dozens of major magazine articles, reviews, and op-ed pieces in publications ranging from the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post to Esquire, National Geographic, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Caputo’s professional writing career began in 1968, when he joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune, serving as a general assignment and team investigative reporter until 1972. For the next five years, he was a foreign correspondent for that newspaper, stationed in Rome, Beirut, Saigon, and Moscow. He has lectured at approximately 20 universities and prep schools around the country, has been a featured speaker for the National Book Committee, the American Library Association, and the American Publisher’s Association, and a participant at the Key West Literary Seminar, the LongestRoad-newcoverTennessee Williams Literary Festival, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Cheltenham Literary Festival in Cheltenham, England. He has also worked as a screenwriter for Paramount Pictures and Michael Douglas Productions. He has been a guest on the Charlie Rose Show and the Today Show, and has narrated or appeared in several TV documentaries on the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and other subjects.

Support provided by:
Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research
War, Violence, and Society Working Group