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The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History
     

The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History

4.3 4
by Norman Mailer
 

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The Armies of the Night chronicles the famed October 1967 March on the Pentagon, in which all of the old and new Left—hippies, yuppies, Weathermen, Quakers, Christians, feminists, and intellectuals—came together to protest the Vietnam War. Alongside his contemporaries, Mailer went, witnessed, participated, suffered, and then wrote one of the most

Overview

The Armies of the Night chronicles the famed October 1967 March on the Pentagon, in which all of the old and new Left—hippies, yuppies, Weathermen, Quakers, Christians, feminists, and intellectuals—came together to protest the Vietnam War. Alongside his contemporaries, Mailer went, witnessed, participated, suffered, and then wrote one of the most stark and intelligent appraisals of the 1960s: its myths, heroes, and demons. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a cornerstone of New Journalism, The Armies of the Night is not only a fascinating foray into that mysterious terrain between novel and history, fiction and nonfiction, but also a key chapter in the autobiography of Norman Mailer—who, in this nonfiction novel, becomes his own great character, letting history in all its complexity speak through him.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“His genuine wit and bellicose charm, and his fervent and intense sense of legitimately caring, render The Armies of the Night an artful document, worthy to be judged as literature.”—Time

“Only a writer steeped in American life, with all his wits about him, and with a genuinely compassionate social vision, could have produced a work so acute in its historical insights and so moving in its portraits of contemporaries.”—The Nation

“Some time in 1969 in Paris, I first read Armies of the Night, Norman Mailer's account of the anti-Vietnam war march on the Pentagon… It was mesmerising, and to re-read it today is to experience an additional punch: the one that verifies that history repeats itself as (malignant) farce. Page after page you have the impression that he is commenting not on Lyndon Johnson's shameful war, but George Bush's corporate-powered skulking towards another self-serving war… supports the theory—more resonant now than then—that perhaps the most ruthless and prolonged jihad in history has been that of the American fundamentalist Christians, which began towards the end of the second world war.”—Peter Lennon, The Guardian
 
“Just as brilliant a personal testimony as Whitman's diary of the Civil War, Specimen Days, and Whitman's great essay on the crisis of the Republic during the Gilded Age, Democratic Vistas. I believe that it is a work of personal and political reportage that brings to the inner and developing crisis of the United States at this moment admirable sensibilities, candid intelligence, the most moving concern for America itself. Mailer's intuition in this book is that the times demand a new form. He has found it.”—Alfred Kazin, New York Times
 
“Mailer's feints and bell-donging around his fellow ‘Notables’ is a late night popcorn joy, and there is much that is stylish and shrewd… this is an important and passionate pilgrimage.”—Kirkus

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781623730239
Publisher:
Odyssey Editions
Publication date:
10/15/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
183,612
File size:
364 KB

Meet the Author

Norman Mailer was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 16, he matriculated at Harvard University to study aeronautical engineering. After graduation, he was drafted into the army and served as an artilleryman in the Philippines, an experience that inspired his debut novel The Naked and the Dead. A gritty, realistic portrayal of the agonies of combat, the book resonated deeply with Americans in the years following World War II, topping the New York Times Bestseller list for eleven consecutive weeks and making Mailer a national celebrity. Critics hailed him as one of the great rising American writers of the post-war era.

Throughout his career, Mailer contributed more than thirty works of fiction and nonfiction to the American literary canon. Considered the innovator of the nonfiction novel, he received several prizes for his books, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The Armies of the Night, the National Book Award for nonfiction for Miami and the Siege of Chicago, and a second Pulitzer for The Executioner’s Song. In 1955 he co-founded The Village Voice; 50 years later, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. Mailer died in 2007.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Provincetown, Massachusetts, and New York, New York
Date of Birth:
January 31, 1923
Date of Death:
November 10, 2007
Place of Birth:
Long Branch, New Jersey
Education:
B.S., Harvard University, 1943; Sorbonne, Paris, 1947-48

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The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this to be highly entertaining/provocative/informative, and--given that Norman Mailer penned the account--sure, inflammatory....in its own charming way. If you're a Mailer fan, I highly recommend The Armies of the Night, but I would also recommend the book to anyone interested in 1960's pop-culture, politics, and any fan of a piece of writing that's just so damned creative, and original, it could take some aback... -todd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is arguably the best Mailer book after 'The Naked and the Dead.' The intrusive,pontificating ,egoistical,probing Mailer personna works here as narrator. The tale of the march , the protest , the whole sage of America's struggle with its soul is written about in such a way ,as to make the reader feel he is living in the midst of history ,in significant times.This may not be the novel as journalism, but it certainly is a kind of high-powered ,reflective,personal journalism of great interest and value.