The Armies of the Night

The Armies of the Night Cover

The Armies of the Night

History as a Novel, the Novel as History

By Norman Mailer

Plume Books, Paperback, 9780452272798, 304pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 1995

One of the first examples of "new journalism" daringly combines reportage with a novelistic style and garnered Mailer his first Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.
"Armies of the Night" centers on the March on the Pentagon, the most famous anti-Vietnam War rally in Washington DC, and the characters that occupy this opposition the intellectuals, students, African Americans, liberals, and marching women. Mailer, a novelist-as-character, sculpts this impressionably fragile world of the Left versus Authority and Peace versus War, prodding at the Vietnam generation's deepest anxieties.
In the same way Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" introduced the "non-fiction novel," "Armies of the Night" renders this form, with turns historical and fictional.