Author: Joseph Heller
Catch-22 is a scathing critique of the bureaucracy of war published at a time when America was still reveling in the success and glory of World War II. It was embraced by disillusioned young people and veterans of the Vietnam War, which took place a few years after publication. The literary style of multiple narrators and non-chronological storyline is recognized as one of the finest pieces of writing of the twentieth century.
The term Catch-22, a military policy in the book that the protagonist is constantly coming up against and unable to resolve, has become a common expression of a circular “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.