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The Red Badge of Courage (Enriched Classics) Mass Market Paperback – Deluxe Edition, May 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Like the Carroll volume above, this edition of the seasoned veteran provides a new twist. Crane's Badge was originally serialized in the New York Press in 1894, a year before the story was published in novel form. This volume offers both the slightly different serial version and the finished work. Though every library no doubt has numerous copies of Red Badge, academic and public libraries supporting American literature curricula should pop for this one, too, especially at the price.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Enriched Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Enriched Classic edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416500251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416500254
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (582 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Robert Brooks on September 4, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unlike many others I was never required to read "The Red Badge of Courage" in High School. When I saw that it was among the many other classics that are now available for free on the Kindle I happily took the opportunity to read it; I am glad that I did.

There are plenty of reviews of the novel itself on the print version, so first a note about the Kindle Edition of this book: I found no typos or poor formatting of the text throughout the Kindle Edition, which is a nice change from many of the other free classics. The only problem with this edition is that the table of contents does not work. It looks as if it should, but it is apparently just a large image within the text file, instead of clickable links to the relevant sections of the book. This is not a big deal, but it is always nice to have a working table of contents for reference.

As for the story: The Red Badge of Courage tells the story of Henry, often referred to as the "Youth," and his transformation over the course of a few days. Considering the author never fought in a war, his reflections on the the way battles can change a person are truly insightful, and at times even breath-taking. Stephen Crane also had a talent for describing the world around Henry allowing the reader to feel as if they are in the novel. The book is quite short, but Crane does a great job developing Henry's character. As Henry goes from scared, to terrified, to arrogant, and eventually humble, you find yourself actively liking and disliking Henry through his transformation, as if you were there.

There are two particular literary devices Crane uses that I particularly enjoyed and make the novel poetic at times. First, almost all of the characters have both a name and them also a character description.
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a British reader, I just recently read and reviewed this book over on Amazon.co.uk, and I thought I'd have a look at the US reviews for comparison - and immediately realised that this is obviously a "set book" in US schools. I can see the logic - the book is about a young person, it's short and (superficially) exciting, with lots of action, and it has some good moral/ethical themes ripe for class discussion.

Nonetheless, I was not surprised to see a number of negative reviews from kids. I don't think I would have appreciated it as a 13 (or whatever) year old. The writing style (deliberately) reflects the state of mind of the protagonist - confused. This in NOT an "adventure" story, it's a blood-and-guts account of a dirty day in a dirty war. As such, it reminded me very much of some of the recent first-hand accounts of infantrymen in WWII, Korea, Vietnam or even Iraq. It's about the way the mind can obsess on tiny details in the middle of chaos - how sights, smells and sounds become almost hallucinogenic as the mind approaches breaking point. As such, it is astonishing.

But if you want a REAL adventure story (not suitable for the under-13s!) read a biography of Crane himself. Hemingway meets James Dean is the only way to describe it.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison (dallison@biochem.med.ufl.edu) on June 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I was in high school several years ago, this was one of the books required in one of my English classes. And, upon going through the many reviews below, I find that it is still a required book for today's students. But, several appear to find Crane's novel "boring," "difficult to read," and nothing that they can "relate to." I heard many of the same things in the early 1960s. But, then I found myself in an environment not too dissimilar of the main character of the novel. It suddenly became relevent and real. Crane's depiction of war and the thoughts of young men at war, both willing and unwilling, will always be relevant. This novel is the psychological study of a young soldier and his first encounters with the brutality seen in battle (many critics have regarded this book as the first modern war novel). The unnamed battle in the novel is probably Chancellorsville (1863). The young infantryman, Henry Fielding, faces his first battle wanting to prove himself a hero. However, when the battle is actually thrust upon him, he is overcome by fear and he runs. He joins the wounded but he has not won their "red badge of courage." He sees his friend Jim Conklin killed and he becomes enraged, particularly at the injustice of war. (I remember noting the significance of the initials J. C. for the soldier's friend; but, I later discovered that this observation was not original. The novel is filled with imagery. For example, even the horsemen of the apocalypse make an appearance.) This is a great novel and I hope it remains on reading lists for years to come.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Red Badge of Courage is interepted as many as being an anti-war novel: it is not.What it does do is present the horrors and psychological aspects of war war without glory, but not without heroics and courage.Henry Fleming is in many ways an every-soldier: he joins the army out of patriotism and to prove his manhood; when the time comes to fight he doubts himself and runs away out of fear. It is at this point Henry comes to the crossroads of his young life: instead of completely deserting his unit he returns to his regiment and the battlefield out of a sense of duty and also out of shame and anger at himself. Once he returns he peforms heroically on the battlefield. I feel Crane's purpose in this books is not to make some overblown anti-war treatise like All Quiet on the Western Front, but to portray what he believed( and may soldiers who read the book agreed with him) to be the emotions and feelings of a soldier in war and also the true motivation behind courage and heroism. Crane shows through Henry, that heroism and courage in war is not something that comes naturally to man(or any animal, as shown by the squirrel scene in the forest) or can simply be conjured up out of blind obedience or extreme partiotism. Crane in fact argues the opposite: courage in war(or in and courage in reponse to violence) is something unatural, something that must be accomplished by overcoming our own natural fear and flight instincts.Henry is able to perform herocially because of anger, his sense of duty, his feeling of brotherhood toward his regiment and out of something deep inside himself that even Crane ( and nobody) could not totally understand . This is a great book about heroism, courage , brotherhood, duty and the psychological aspects of war. It is not a books that glorifies war ,nor it is it an anti-war treatise. It simply tells a story about war in a world where war exists.
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