Pulitzer Prize Winner C.J. Chivers Speaks at RWU on Nov. 13

New York Times reporter will talk about his new book, “The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq”

C. J. Chivers and his book cover
By Edward Fitzpatrick

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– C. J. Chivers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and former Marine infantry officer, will speak at Roger Williams University on Tuesday, Nov. 13, about his new book, The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Chivers, a Rhode Island resident who worked at The Providence Journal, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing for his New York Times Magazine story about a veteran suffering from PTSD who was jailed after returning from the Afghan war. Based on Chivers’ work, the veteran was released from prison. In 2009, Chivers was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We are pleased that one of the country’s top war correspondents will be joining us on campus right after Veterans Day,” RWU Interim President Andy Workman said. “C.J. Chivers honors our nation’s soldiers by telling their stories with unflinching honesty. His presentation offers a great opportunity for members of RWU’s political science, journalism and ROTC programs, as well as the larger community.”

The Fighters notes that 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since late 2001, and nearly 7,000 of them have died. The book traces the lives of six service members over 17 years, offering an unvarnished account of modern combat, its legacies and its effects, from the viewpoint of combatants rather than senior officers or politicians.

“The pages that follow offer personal experiences over official narratives and slogans. They are a presentation of what results when ideas about war-fighting, some of them flawed, become orders,” Chivers wrote in the preface. “Grunts, as members of the infantry call themselves with grim pride, live beyond the end of the road. They do not make policy. They are stuck in it.”

Chivers served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Persian Gulf War and on peacekeeping duty during the Los Angeles riots. He is the author of a 2010 book titled The Gun.

From 1995 until 1999, Chivers was a staff writer at The Providence Journal, covering crime and politics, and was a contributor to several magazines, writing on wildlife, natural history and conservation. He graduated from Cornell University in 1988 and from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1995. He also graduated from several military schools, including the U.S. Army’s Ranger Course.

Chivers will speak at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Mary Tefft White Cultural Center in the University Library on RWU’s Bristol campus. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.