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The Red Badge of Courage

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Stephen Crane described his novel of the American Civil War as a "psychological portrait of fear." Although he never experienced the horror of battle himself, Crane based his realistic narrative largely on stories told by Civil War veterans. While those accounts tended to focus on the external action of warfare, the young newspaper reporter aspired to illustrate the internal experience of the soldier. What does a man think and feel when he must kill or be killed? When in the chaos of battle will fear paralyze him or, worse, cause him to turn coward and run? In a sense, modern American fiction begins with Crane's masterful, impressionistic depiction of Private Henry Fleming under fire.

The Ignatius Critical Editions represent a tradition-oriented alternative to popular textbook series such as the Norton Critical Editions or Oxford World Classics, and are designed to concentrate on traditional readings of the Classics of world literature. Whereas many modern critical editions have succumbed to the fads of modernism and post-modernism, this series will concentrate on tradition-oriented criticism of these great works. Edited by acclaimed literary biographer, Joseph Pearce, the Ignatius Critical Editions will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist, or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer-choice, enabling educators, students and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to buy into the ideologies of secular fundamentalism. The series is particularly aimed at tradition-minded literature professors offering them an alternative for their students. 

Published: 2011
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Author: Stephen Crane
Length: 262 pages
Editor: Mary R. Reichardt
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