Combat Memoirs of the Vietnam War

  • Tom Burns Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)


This article addresses the combat memoirs of the Vietnam War, autobiographical narratives written after the fact by soldier-writers, with an emphasis on their first-hand experiences of battle and their accompanying emotions. After an introduction that discusses the motivations, truth claims, and narrative structures of such works, two well-known examples (both were best-sellers on their publication) are examined at length:  Ron Kovic’s Born on the Fourth of July (1976), and Philip Caputo’s Rumors of War (1977). While both works follow the familiar trajectory of before-during-after, in which the cultural influences that made them both want to go to war and the consequences, physical and emotional of having survived it, they differ in the different socio-economic background of the authors and consequent attitudes toward their experience, as well as how the war has determined their later lives.

Biografia do Autor

Tom Burns, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Doutor em inglês e literatura correspondente pela Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). Professor Associado da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Programa de Pós Graduação em Letras: Estudos Literários.
Como Citar
Burns, T. (1). Combat Memoirs of the Vietnam War. Via Litterae (ISSN 2176-6800): Revista De Linguística E Teoria Literária, 5(1), 257-280. Recuperado de
Teoria Literária