Joseph Heller

Literature of 1960's

Joseph Heller was a novelists ,short story writer and play writer. His first novel ,Catch 22, was written in 1961 and was not the public's favorite until baby boomers began. The novel was about his experience in W.W.II as a bombardier and was recognized as one the greatest anti-war books.

Joseph Heller was born May 1st, 1923 in Brooklyn, NY and as a child his father passed away. Joseph enlisted in 1942 into the Army Air Corps and during his serving time was sent to 60 combat missions. Shortly after his discharge he got married in 1945 to Shirley Held having 2 children Erica & Ted Heller, later remarrying  in 1987 to Valerie Humphries.

A Paradox

Marc Anderson (a soldier serving in Vietnam) says Catch-22 took one of life's worst experiences and made it funny. Heller understood completely what soldiers encounter in war and identified with their frustration about getting caught in a situation over which they have no control. He turned that frustration into his famous Catch-22, an idea that perfectly captures the absurdity of war and the mind-numbing bureaucracy that supports it. Heller's humor, says Anderson, is what makes the book work.


During the war many people got infuriated with  the two versions of what was reality. Due to the fact that they weren't informed of the circumstances during the war making them feel cheated by the authority. Catch 22 motivated many protesters through their morality and them seeing the deceit in which the war was escalated with.

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