The Red Badge Of Courage & The Veteran

by Stephen Crane
Introduction by Shelby Foote

Random House Publishing Group | September 12, 2000 | Trade Paperback

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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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 8 × 5.15 × 0.69 in

Published: September 12, 2000

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679783202

ISBN - 13: 9780679783206

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The Red Badge Of Courage & The Veteran

by Stephen Crane
Introduction by Shelby Foote

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 8 × 5.15 × 0.69 in

Published: September 12, 2000

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679783202

ISBN - 13: 9780679783206

Read from the Book

From the Introduction by Shelby Foote When I first encountered The Red Badge , back in my early teens, it fairly bowled me over, this story of how a New York farmboy who, in his terrifying baptism of fire-a baptism of which it could truly be said, in churchly terms, that it was "by total immersion"-first turns tail and runs, a coward, but then rejoins his regiment and comports himself, throughout the second day of battle, as a hero. More than half a century later, and with my own war behind me, the novel bowls me over still, but in a different way, especially in my understanding of Crane''s ultimate assessment of his young protagonist: "He was a man." From the time of that furious ten-night burst of first-draft writing, in the early spring of 1893, to the presumably final product in New Orleans, in March of 1895, he had tinkered with and labored over the text, off and on, for two full years. Like Schliemann at Troy, explicators have unearthed at least seven layers of composition and revision underlying the version most of us read today, although some of those scholars-ignoring the fact that Crane never expressed any reservations about what he had passed for the printer-restore the excised portions, long and short, in brackets or in supplements, in an attempt to reinforce their notion of what it was that Crane had been trying to say before he yielded to pressure from Ripley Hitchcock to clip the soaring novel''s wings; which, incidentally, is rather like co
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From the Publisher

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.

From the Jacket

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

Stephen Crane authored novels, short stories, and poetry, but is best known for his realistic war fiction. Crane was a correspondent in the Greek-Turkish War and the Spanish American War, penning numerous articles, war reports and sketches. His most famous work, The Red Badge of Courage (1896), portrays the initial cowardice and later courage of a Union soldier in the Civil War. In addition to six novels, Crane wrote over a hundred short stories including "The Blue Hotel,""The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," and "The Open Boat." His first book of poetry was The Black Riders (1895), ironic verse in free form. Crane wrote 136 poems. Crane was born November 1, 1871, in Newark, New Jersey. After briefly attending Lafayette College and Syracuse University, he became a freelance journalist in New York City. He published his first novel, Maggie: Girl of the Streets, at his own expense because publishers found it controversial: told with irony and sympathy, it is a story of the slum girl driven to prostitution and then suicide. Crane died June 5, 1900, at age 28 from tuberculosis. Shelby Foote, 1916 - Born on November 17, 1916, in Greenville, Miss., Shelby Foote is best known for his three-volume narrative history of the Civil War. He was educated at the University of North Carolina and served with the U.S. Army artillery during World War II. Foote has written short stories: Chickamunga, and Other Civil War Stories (1993); plays: Jordan County: A Landscape in the Round, produced in 1964;
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Editorial Reviews

"As to ''masterpiece,'' there is no doubt that The Red Badge of Courage is that."
--Joseph Conrad

Bookclub Guide

1. The novel''s famous opening paragraph ends with these words: ". . - And at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp fires set in the low brows of distant hills." How does this sentence set the tone for the rest of the novel? Do you find echoes of this sentence in the subsequent pages?

2. In the first paragraph is Crane''s first usage of the word "red." What else in the book does he describe as red? Is his usage of the word sometimes surprising? How so? H. G. Wells refers to this as Crane''s "force of color." What do you think Wells means by this?

3. Why does the narrator always refer to the protagonist as "the youth." We only learn Henry''s name from his fellow soldiers; why does the author do this? How does this affect the story?

4. Henry''s first encounter with a corpse both startles and numbs him. Crane describes it this way, "[Henry] vaguely desired to walk around and around the body and stare; the impulse of the living to try to read in dead eyes the answer to the Question." What do you think the Question is? Why do you think Crane chose to capitalize this word?

5. In Chapter 3, the regiment''s preparation for battle is described: "During this halt many men in the regiment began erecting tiny hills in front of them. They used stones, sticks, earth, and anything they thought might turn a bullet. Some built comparatively large ones, while others seemed content with little ones." What does this say about the different way men prepare themselves for war? Who is noticing this difference, the narrator or Henry himself? Are they the same?

6. Chapter 4 ends with, "The youth achieved one little thought in the midst of this chaos. The composite monster which had caused the other troops to flee had not then appeared. He resolved to get a view of it, and then, he thought he might very likely run better than the best of them." What does this imply? What is the monster? Why is Henry capable, or believes he is capable, of seeing it when the others are not?

7. Joseph Conrad described Stephen Crane as a man "with an incomparable insight into primitive emotions, who, in order to give us an image of war, had looked profoundly into his own breast." Why is Crane''s rendering of war so moving? How does it successfully portray the horrors of war in a little over two hundred pages, when most war novels are epic in length and scope? Why do you think Crane chose to write his novel this way?

8. Why does Henry leave his regiment? Is it an act of courage or cowardice? How does Henry perceive it himself?

9. What ultimately is Henry''s red badge of courage? Is it his wound to the head, or is it something else?

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