Critical Book Review of Philip Caputo’s, a Rumor of War
After hearing President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech about conquering the spread of communism, Caputo felt a sense of duty and felt that this was his chance to stand up for his country and to prove to everyone that he was ready to take on the challenges that come along with entering into manhood.
No cease-fire for us, none for you either. I ordered both rocket launcher teams to fire white phosphorous shells into the hamlet. They fired four together.... About half the village went up in flames. (235) What Caputo is fulfilling here is a basic desire for revenge and it leaves him brutalized and de-sensitized about what he has done: I did not feel a sense of vengeance, any more than I felt remorse or regret. I did not even feel angry. Listening to the shouts and the people running out of their burning homes, I did not feel anything at all. (236)
A rumor of war forms a critical analysis of the extremes marines and military undergo in protecting the sovereignty of their territorial boundaries. In finality, Caputo engraved this book as a critical commemorative and learning experience of how war can adversely change a person's morality.
Caputo, Philip. A Rumor of War. 1977. New York: Henry Holt. Print.
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Kelsey, Ann L., ed. Resources for Teaching the Vietnam War: An Annotated Guide. Pittsburgh: Center for Social Studies Education, c1996.
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Leepson, Marc and Helen Hannaford. Webster's New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War. New York: Macmillan, c1999.