First published in 1895, America's greatest novel of the Civil War was written before 21-year-old Stephen Crane had "smelled even the powder of a sham battle." But this powerful psychological study of a young soldier's struggle with the horrors, both within and without, that war strikes the reader with its undeniable realism and with its masterful descriptions of the moment-by-moment riot of emotions felt by me under fire. Ernest Hemingway called the novel an American classic, and Crane's genius is as much apparent in his sharp, colorful prose as in his ironic portrayal of an episode of war so intense, so immediate, so real that the terror of battle becomes our own ... in a masterpiece so unique that many believe modern American fiction began with Stephen Crane.
About the Author
American author Stephen Crane began writing early in life, and was already a published author by the age of sixteen. Among Crane's best known works are Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, which is considered to be the first literary work in the early American tradition of Naturalism, a literary movement marked by detailed realism and the acknowledgement of social conditions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and The Red Badge of Courage, which was influenced by his own experiences in military school and personal contact with Civil-War veterans. Crane died in 1900 at the age twenty-eight of tuberculosis, but had a significant and lasting impact on twentieth-century literature, influencing early modernist writers such as Ernest Hemingway.
Alfred Kazin was born in Brooklyn in 1915. His first book, On Native Grounds, published in 1942, revolutionized critical perceptions of American literature. It was followed by many more books of essays and criticism, including A Walker in the City and, most recently, Writing Was Everything.
Kazin has taught at Harvard, Smith, Amherst, Hunter College, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In 1996, he received the Truman Capote Literary Trust's first Lifetime Award in Literary Criticism.
Kazin lives in New York City.
"The Red Badge Of Courage has long been considered the first great 'modern' novel of war by an American—the first novel of literary distinction to present war without heroics and this in a spirit of total irony and skepticism."—Alfred Kazin