Dispatches (book)

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First edition
Author Michael Herr
Country United States
Language English
Genre Journalism
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 272 pp
ISBN 0-679-73525-9
OCLC 22956787
959.704/38 20
LC Class DS559.5 .H47 1991

Dispatches is a New Journalism book by Michael Herr that describes the author's experiences in Vietnam as a war correspondent for Esquire magazine. First published in 1977, Dispatches was one of the first pieces of American literature that allowed Americans to understand the experiences of soldiers in the Vietnam War. At a time when many veterans would say little about their experiences during the war, Dispatches allowed for an experience and understanding of the war like no other source to date. The book is noted for a visceral, literary style which distinguishes it from more mundane and chronological historical accounts.

Featured in the book are fellow war correspondents Sean Flynn and Dana Stone and Dale Dye and the photojournalist Tim Page.

Dispatches was reprinted in 2009 by Everyman's Library as a contemporary classic.


John le Carré described Dispatches as "the best book I have ever read on men and war in our time" and it featured in the journalism section of The Guardian's 100 greatest non-fiction book list in 2011.[1]

In screenplays

Several of the fictional (composite character) soldiers mentioned in the book were used as the basis for characters in the movies Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket.


  1. "The 100 greatest non-fiction books". London: www.guardian.co.uk. 14 June 2011.