A Rumor of War

By Philip Caputo

A Rumor of War - Philip Caputo
  • Release Date: 2014-05-13
  • Genre: Military
Score: 4.5
From 135 Ratings


The 40th anniversary edition of the classic Vietnam memoir—featured in the PBS documentary series The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick—with a new foreword by Kevin Powers

In March of 1965, Lieutenant Philip J. Caputo landed at Danang with the first ground combat unit deployed to Vietnam. Sixteen months later, having served on the line in one of modern history’s ugliest wars, he returned home—physically whole but emotionally wasted, his youthful idealism forever gone.

A Rumor of War is far 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 the author writes, of "the things men do in war and the things war does to them."

"Heartbreaking, terrifying, and enraging. It belongs to the literature of men at war." —Los Angeles Times Book Review


  • Caputo got it right

    By brutom
    I was there, and many times while reading his book, I had to put it down, thinking, "Yeah, that's how it was, how I felt, how it went." I've read a lot of books about Vietnam; none better than this one.
  • Important book

    By Sshxfknb
    This is not "the definitive book on Vietnam" as described by some critics. This is a memoir of an infantry officer and his experience and emotions during his tour of duty during the Vietnam War. This (and the countless books like it) is an important book in that it should be required reading by all civilian leaders who enter into and prosecute wars on our behalf. It should also be required reading by those leaders who cavalierly dismiss the military and its operations. The author suggests that this book may have been published at just the right moment, thus the overwhelming reception. I would agree. It is no more extraordinary or noteworthy than many other Vietnam War soldier memoirs. In my opinion, The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War by Frederick Downs Jr. is a much better read.
  • A Rumor Of War

    By ssgpete
    I have read this book over 20 times since I first read it in the early 80's. I was active-duty in the army back then,there were still a lot of Vietnam veterans at that time. These men told me about life during Vietnam in the military and this book closely resembles it. Two other books from that area era that are must reads. Are the 13th Valley and the sand in the wind. They are both written as well as this book.
  • Masterfully Witten

    By mrgalen
    Caputo does a wonderful job describing the confusion and chaos of those first months of American involvement in Vietnam. The reader is given an overwhelming sense of futility of everything that was being done in Vietnam and confirmed by the ridiculous court martial. At 30 years old, I have not one tie to the Vietnam war. However, this book was a great read and I recommend it to anyone looking for first-person insight to what happened. It was a recommended read for an American history class; I believe it should be required.
  • A rumor of war

    By Landfilll
    Hands down the best war accounts ever written by a soldier on the ground. Caputo has an uncanny way of making the reader feel as if they were there. The way he describes the sights, sounds and smells of war really give you a sense of what it was like to be in the quagmire of Vietnam. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in seeing what it was like to be a grunt in the violent world of the vietnam war