A Rumor of War

A Rumor of War

by

Philip Caputo

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on A Rumor of War can help.
A marine in the 2nd Battalion who, like Olson, survived “half a dozen operations and a number of combat patrols.” According to Caputo, both Harris and Olson suffered from “combat madness”—a sense of war weariness in which one can only look forward to killing and seeing others killed. One night, in the midst of spending four months in the jungle with no relief and little sleep, Harris tells Olson that it is his turn to go on watch. Olson refuses and an argument ensues; Olson challenges Harris to kill him, and Harris promptly pumps five or six bullets from his automatic rifle into Olson’s skull at point-blank range. Other marines witness the event and later serve as witnesses when Harris is court-martialed.
Get the entire A Rumor of War LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Rumor of War PDF