"I wanted nothing less than to be a fiction writer when I was a kid. If you had told me I would be an artist or novelist when I grew up, I would have laughed in your face." -- Caleb Carr
Caleb Carr (born August 2, 1955) is an American novelist and military historian. The son of Lucien Carr, a former UPI editor and a key Beat generation figure, he was born in Manhattan and lived for much of his life on the Lower East Side. He attended Kenyon College and New York University, earning a B.A. in military and diplomatic history. He writes frequently on military and political affairs and was a contributing editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History until 2008.
Carr is author of the novels The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness, Casing the Promised Land, Killing Time, The Italian Secretary, and the nonfiction books The Devil Soldier, a biography of 19-century American mercenary Frederick Townsend Ward, and The Lessons of Terror. Many of his novels are set in the Gilded Age or Victorian times; The Italian Secretary was an authorized Sherlock Holmes mystery.
Carr has written plays and movie screenplays, one of which, Bad Attitudes was made into a TV movie in 1991. He was one of the contributing screenwriters for the film prequel to The Exorcist, released as The Beginning, for which he received a shared story credit. He also received a shared screenplay credit on Prequel to the Exorcist, which received high praise from William Peter Blatty (the author/screenwriter of The Exorcist). In television, he appears on the PBS program American Experience as a guest commentator/narrator, such as on the episode of the NYC subway system, "New York Underground".
Carr taught three semesters of military history at Bard College as a Visiting Professor. He was also a close friend and confidant of historian James Chace, with whom he collaborated on America Invulnerable: The Quest for Absolute Security from 1812 to Star Wars.
He currently resides in upstate New York on a farm estate called "Misery Mountain" in the town of Berlin, New York, in Rensselaer County. Carr ran as a Democrat for the Rensselaer County Legislature in 2005 but came in fourth of four candidates.
"Every human being must find his own way to cope with severe loss, and the only job of a true friend is to facilitate whatever method he chooses.""I feel horribly vindicated. Three thousand people died who didn't have to die.""I was a pretty angry kid, and I got into military history largely as a way to vent my own anger. As I got older it narrowed down to a more specific focus on individual violence. I'm just trying to understand where it came from.""I'm still a firm believer that we were definitely put here to use our minds, and that is what makes us different. And that that's the key. If there is anything that is going to stop mankind from being such a beastly, destructive creature, it is reason.""Warfare against civilians must never be answered in kind. Terror must never be answered with terror."