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Wally’s Bookshelf: A Rumor of War with Dr. Tobey Herzog

Wally’s Bookshelf: A Rumor of War with Dr. Tobey Herzog

Wednesday, August 28, 2024
7:30-9:00 p.m. EDT

Wally's Bookshelf is a casual book discussion led by a Wabash faculty or staff member via Zoom and provides participants the opportunity to connect with fellow Little Giants. Participants are required to procure and read the book, but the virtual discussion is free. You can find the book here:

Join Dr. Tobey Herzog for a discussion of A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo. “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,’.”

Dr. Tobey Herzog

Tobey Herzog is Emeritus Professor of English and Emeritus Anne and Andrew T. Ford Chair in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College. He retired after 38 years of teaching at Wabash where he taught a variety of writing and literature courses, including Business and Technical Writing, Introduction to Mass Communications, and 18th- and 19th-Century British Literature.  In addition, he taught numerous freshman tutorials and classes on modern war literature, with a focus on the history, literature, and American soldier-authors connected with the Vietnam War. He has published four books analyzing this body of literature: Vietnam War Stories: Innocence Lost; Tim O’Brien; Writing Life, Writing Vietnam: Caputo, Heinemann, O’Brien, Butler; and Tim O’Brien: The Things He Carries and the Stories He Tells. Of particular importance to Tobey’s life and his career are his experiences as a U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran (drafted).

Dr. Herzog selected A Rumor of War for our evening discussion because Philip Caputo’s 1977 Vietnam War memoir introduces readers to the structure, timeless themes, and numerous moral questions found in the best of war literature. Also, Caputo, a prolific author (18 books), visited Wabash in October 2007 as a Will Hays, Jr., Visiting Writer.

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