The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, The Novel as History. New York: New American Library, 6 May; London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, October. Nonfiction narrative on the anti-war March on the Pentagon, 317 pp., $5.95.
Dedication and acknowledgment: “To Beverly; An acknowledgment to Sandy Charlebois for work beyond the call of duty.”
Published 20 years to the day after The Naked and the Dead (48.2).
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and the National Book Award for arts and letters.
In 1999, it was ranked nineteenth on a list of the top 100 works of journalism of the twentieth century by 36 judges under the aegis of New York University’s journalism department. See “Journalism’s Greatest Hits: Two Lists of a Century’s Top Stories,” New York Times, 1 March 1999, Business Section, pp.1, 13.
Discarded title: “Bust at the Pentagon,” “The Armies of the Dead.” For an account of the work’s genesis and reception written by the editor of Harper’s, see New York Days by Willie Morris. (New York: Little, Brown, 1993), 213-22.
Rpt: Entire narrative appeared earlier in two parts, in Harper’s (68.2), and Commentary (68.6), respectively and was then revised for book publication; 98.7 (partial). See 68.26, 69.3, 69.4, 69.25, 69.26, 70.8–70.11, 72.7, 74.20, 79.14, 96.5, 13.2, 381-94.
There is no sex [in The Armies of the Night]. In that sense, it’s a nineteenth-century novel. It’s courtly, it’s deliberate, it’s amused with its time and place. It’s taken for granted that its characters are all very fine and substantial people. We know it’s going to turn out well in the end. I suppose it has the restrained merriment of the early nineteenth-century picaresque novel. (82.16)