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Pulitzer winner examines troubled Marine’s d...

Pulitzer winner examines troubled Marine’s descent into violence during MTSU talk

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times writer C.J. Chivers will explain how he traced a troubled U.S. Marine’s descent into postwar violence during a free public event set Tuesday, Feb. 6, at MTSU.

C.J. Chivers

Chivers, himself a former Marine, will discuss “War and Its Costs” at 2:40 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Parliamentary Room, Room 201, of MTSU’s Student Union.

A campus parking map is available at Off-campus visitors attending the lecture can obtain a special one-day permit at

The free public event is part of the Pulitzer Prize Series sponsored by the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies and the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU.

Chivers, who has reported from conflicts around the world for the Times, received the 2017 Pulitzer for Feature Writing for his December 2016 New York Times Magazine story on Sam Siatta, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan who was decorated for valor, came home to Illinois and started college on the G.I. Bill.

One spring night in 2014, Siatta abruptly burst into a nearby home, confronted the terrified strangers and hit one with a frying pan he’d grabbed off a stove. The man, another Marine, fought Siatta off, stabbing him repeatedly with a kitchen knife.

Siatta had no memory of the fight or even going to the strangers’ house.

You can read Chivers’ award-winning story, “The Fighter,” at the Times website.

Chivers, part of a Times team that won the 2009 Pulitzer for international reporting for its special coverage of America’s military and political changes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, also is the author of “The Gun,” a history of automatic weapons explained via the development of the AK-47.

MTSU presents special lectures in the Pulitzer Prize series every fall and spring, most recently welcoming journalists discussing their award-winning coverage of election fact-checking, America’s opioid crisis, U.S. police shootings and the new civil rights movement.

MTSU established the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies in 1986 to honor the late journalist’s lifelong commitment to free expression. The Seigenthaler Chair supports a variety of activities related to topics of concern for contemporary journalism, including distinguished visiting professors and visiting lecturers at MTSU, research, seminars, and hands-on training for student journalists.

You can learn more about MTSU’s John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at and more about the College of Media and Entertainment at

— Gina E. Fann (

You can read C.J. Chivers’ Pulitzer Prize-winning story by clicking on the New York Times Magazine cover.