Michael Herr

Aryn Bartley (Michigan State University)
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Michael Herr was best known for his collection of essays from and about the Vietnam War. Dispatches has been described as “one of the greatest nonfiction works of its time” (Stone xiii). What follows will give a sense of why this work was so significant.


As Herr writes:

I went to cover the war and the war covered me; an old story, unless of course you’ve never heard it. I went there behind the crude but serious belief that you had to be able to look at anything, serious because I acted on it and went, crude because I didn’t know, it took the war to teach it, that you were as responsible for everything you saw as you were for everything …

3654 words

Citation: Bartley, Aryn. "Michael Herr". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 May 2011; last revised 19 June 2022. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12899, accessed 03 October 2023.]

12899 Michael Herr 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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