The Armies of the Night
History as a Novel, the Novel as History
By Norman Mailer
(Plume Books, Paperback, 9780452272798, 304pp.)
Publication Date: January 1995
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"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.