One of the greatest works of American literature, The Red Badge of Courage gazes fearlessly into the bright hell of war through the eyes of one young soldier, the reluctant Henry Fleming. Written by Stephen Crane at the age of twenty-one, the novel imagines the Civil War's terror and loss with an unblinking vision so modern and revolutionary that, upon publication, critics hailed it as a work of literary genius. Ernest Hemingway declared, "There was no real literature of our Civil War . . . until Stephen Crane wrote The Red Badge of Courage."
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition includes the short story "The Veteran," Crane's tale of an aged Civil War soldier looking back at his past.
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.
Shelby Foote (1916-2005) came from a long line of Mississippians. After attending the University of North Carolina, he served in World War II as a captain of field artillery in the European theater. He wrote six novels and was awarded three Guggenheim fellowships in the twenty-year course of writing his monumental three-volume history, The Civil War: A Narrative.
"As to 'masterpiece,' there is no doubt that The Red Badge of Courage is that."