Philip Caputo Randall Kennedy - Essay

Randall Kennedy

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In Horn of Africa Philip Caputo endeavors to present a "personal vision of the nature of violence and to show what happens when a certain kind of man is placed in a condition in which he is free to exceed the bounds of acceptable human conduct." Jeremy Nordstrand is this "certain kind of man." An imperious figure with bear-like strength, Nordstrand and two other US intelligence agents undertake a secret mission to Ethiopia. Its purpose is to smuggle arms to a warlike Islamic tribe, the Beni-Hamid, to help them fight the central Ethiopian government. Nordstrand's motivation, however, has nothing to do with the purposes of his superiors. He joins the mission hoping to find a place where he can follow his...

(The entire section is 1065 words.)