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College Alumnus Herman Wouk Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of "The Caine Mutiny" at Columbia

By Loralee Nolletti

Herman Wouk

Herman Wouk, CC 1934, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, "The Caine Mutiny," with a reading on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Rennert Hall, Kraft Center for Jewish Life.

Originally published in 1951, the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Caine Mutiny" has sold millions of copies and become a classic novel of World War II. It tells the story of the USS Caine under the command of Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg, a neurotic captain who loses control of his ship during a typhoon. The ensuing court martial of mutineer Lieutenant Steve Maryk raises questions of loyalty, patriotism and adherence to military code. Upon publication, "The Caine Mutiny" captured the imagination of a country recovering from a devastating war. The movie version, starring Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg, was filmed in 1954, the same year that "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial," Wouk's two-act play based on the novel, was produced on Broadway.

Wouk, himself, served aboard two destroyer-minesweepers, the USS Zane and the USS Southhard, from 1942 to 1946. His other works of fiction chronicling the global drama of World War II, "The Winds of War" (1971) and 'War and Remembrance" (1978), have also become a vital part of our literary history and have been made into television movies.

Herman Wouk's other works include "Marjorie Morningstar" (1955), "Don't Stop the Carnival" (1965), and "The Hope" (1994) and "The Glory" (1994), his historical novels of the creation and early development of the modern state of Israel.

Many of Wouk's papers are currently in collections at Columbia's Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 6th floor, Butler Library. An exhibition of Wouk's work will be on view in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 prior to the reading.

The Friends of the Columbia Libraries, the Stephen Whitney Phoenix Society of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia, Columbia College and Little, Brown & Company will sponsor the 50th anniversary celebration of this work.

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library, located on the 6th Floor of the Butler Library, is home to over 600,000 rare books in some 20 book collections, as well as 26 million manuscripts in nearly 2,600 separate manuscript collections.

Published: Feb 06, 2002
Last modified:Sep 18, 2002

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