The Armies of the Night

History as a Novel, the Novel as History (Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Winner)

Look inside
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

With a Introduction by Adam Gopnik

Fifty years after the March on the Pentagon, Norman Mailer’s seminal tour de force remains as urgent and incisive as ever. Winner of America’s two highest literary awards, The Armies of the Night uniquely and unforgettably captures the Sixties’ tidal wave of love and rage at its crest and a towering genius at his peak.

The time is October 21, 1967. The place is Washington, D.C. Depending on the paper you read, 20,000 to 200,000 protestors are marching to end the war in Vietnam, while helicopters hover overhead and federal marshals and soldiers with fixed bayonets await them on the Pentagon steps. Among the marchers is a writer named Norman Mailer. From his own singular participation in the day’s events and his even more extraordinary perceptions comes a classic work that shatters the mold of traditional reportage. Intellectuals and hippies, clergymen and cops, poets and army MPs crowd the pages of a book in which facts are fused with techniques of fiction to create the nerve-end reality of experiential truth.
 
“[Mailer’s] 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 born novelist could have written a piece of history so intelligent, mischievous, penetrating and alive.”—Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review
© Christina Pabst
Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books. The Castle in the Forest, his last novel, was his eleventh New York Times bestseller. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner’s Song and is the only person to date to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Norman Mailer died in 2007 in New York City. View titles by Norman Mailer
  • WINNER
    National Book Award
  • WINNER
    Pulitzer Prize (Non-Fiction)
Praise for The Armies of the Night

“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, The 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 Reviews

About

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

With a Introduction by Adam Gopnik

Fifty years after the March on the Pentagon, Norman Mailer’s seminal tour de force remains as urgent and incisive as ever. Winner of America’s two highest literary awards, The Armies of the Night uniquely and unforgettably captures the Sixties’ tidal wave of love and rage at its crest and a towering genius at his peak.

The time is October 21, 1967. The place is Washington, D.C. Depending on the paper you read, 20,000 to 200,000 protestors are marching to end the war in Vietnam, while helicopters hover overhead and federal marshals and soldiers with fixed bayonets await them on the Pentagon steps. Among the marchers is a writer named Norman Mailer. From his own singular participation in the day’s events and his even more extraordinary perceptions comes a classic work that shatters the mold of traditional reportage. Intellectuals and hippies, clergymen and cops, poets and army MPs crowd the pages of a book in which facts are fused with techniques of fiction to create the nerve-end reality of experiential truth.
 
“[Mailer’s] 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 born novelist could have written a piece of history so intelligent, mischievous, penetrating and alive.”—Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review

Author

© Christina Pabst
Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books. The Castle in the Forest, his last novel, was his eleventh New York Times bestseller. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner’s Song and is the only person to date to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Norman Mailer died in 2007 in New York City. View titles by Norman Mailer

Awards

  • WINNER
    National Book Award
  • WINNER
    Pulitzer Prize (Non-Fiction)

Praise

Praise for The Armies of the Night

“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, The 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 Reviews

The New York Times’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century

The New York Times recently published their list “100 Best Books of the 21st Century.” We are pleased to announce that there are 49 titles published from Penguin Random House and its distribution clients included in this list. Browse our collection of Penguin Random House titles here. Browse the full list from The New York

Read more

2024 Middle and High School Collections

The Penguin Random House Education Middle School and High School Digital Collections feature outstanding fiction and nonfiction from the children’s, adult, DK, and Grupo Editorial divisions, as well as publishers distributed by Penguin Random House. Peruse online or download these valuable resources to discover great books in specific topic areas such as: English Language Arts,

Read more

PRH Education High School Collections

All reading communities should contain protected time for the sake of reading. Independent reading practices emphasize the process of making meaning through reading, not an end product. The school culture (teachers, administration, etc.) should affirm this daily practice time as inherently important instructional time for all readers. (NCTE, 2019)   The Penguin Random House High

Read more

PRH Education Translanguaging Collections

Translanguaging is a communicative practice of bilinguals and multilinguals, that is, it is a practice whereby bilinguals and multilinguals use their entire linguistic repertoire to communicate and make meaning (García, 2009; García, Ibarra Johnson, & Seltzer, 2017)   It is through that lens that we have partnered with teacher educators and bilingual education experts, Drs.

Read more

PRH Education Classroom Libraries

“Books are a students’ passport to entering and actively participating in a global society with the empathy, compassion, and knowledge it takes to become the problem solvers the world needs.” –Laura Robb   Research shows that reading and literacy directly impacts students’ academic success and personal growth. To help promote the importance of daily independent

Read more