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Red Badge of Courage Hardcover – Feb 1979

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Hardcover, Feb 1979
£22.81 £1.18
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Golden Pr (Feb. 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307122263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307122261
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 16.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A classic work of American full, as the author wrote it. -- The New York Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Stephen Crane (1871-1900), American novelist, poet, and short-story writer, best known for his novels Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) and The Red Badge of Courage (1895) and the short stories "The Open Boat," "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," and "The Blue Hotel." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Bell on 1 May 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Taking place during the American Civil War, this novel is regarded by many as giving an accurate portrayal of the battlefields. And whilst the author had clearly done his homework (having been born after the war had finished), it's key strength is in creating the bond between the reader and the protaganist.

The author uses many techniques to encircle the reader in the fog of war, from the smoke of the guns to the annonymity of fellow soldiers. I found the battlefield hard to envision, except in the immediate vicinty of Fleming, which I suspect was also the intention of the author. This is after all a book about an individual exeperience of war, and in some ways the specific setting is (nearly) irrelevant, this could take place in Agincourt, Waterloo or Ypres, it would not diminish the focus of the very question that countless men must have had to face up to before every battle mankind has fought.

And so it is that the reader is drawn together with Fleming to ask the question "Would I run or would I fight?"

This is perhaps not written in a style that I found particularly fluent, but it was not helped by the formatting of the version that I read, which was very poor (in particular broken paragraphs). I think perhaps I found the story becoming a little saccharine towards the end, contrasted with many of the darker earlier passages. However I did find myself compelled to read to the end, and would recommend the book to anyone who has ever wondered what they would do in the face of battle.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By john gavin on 2 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
when i started this book i found it very hard as the writer keeps going into very deep colorful descriptions of everything ,the story is great and i carried on as i wanted to enjoy the story ,to sum up, it seems to me that this was a short book that someone told him to make longer so the author went back in and padded it out with long winded colorful descriptions
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By daffodil1 on 1 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was bought as a present for someone
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nc Shackley on 21 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
I do not believe that this book should be regarded as a classic.
The novel tells about the adventures of a young soldier named Henry during the American Civil War, whose alacrity for fighting in the army soon fades as he is faced with the real horrors of war. Every other soldier the protagonist fights with, instead of being given a name, is labeled with an adjective such as 'loud soldier' or 'tall soldier'. Whilst I accept the author was trying to show the reader how anonymous the people you fight with are in a war, it also meant that the characters came across as flat and uninspiring, and the reader never gets to know or understand them.
Although I have not enjoyed other classic works of literature in the past, I have always been able to see past my opinions and understand why they are regarded so highly. I did not feel that with this book at all. The prose was dull, the style did not engage me at all, and I am still struggling to understand why it is rated by so many people.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 531 reviews
105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
Great Story, Good Kindle Edition 5 Sept. 2010
By Robert Brooks - Published on
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. For example, Henry is "the Youth," he has a friend "the loud youngster" and so on for all the main characters. This reinforces the idea that this is not just a book about a particular person or group of people, but about people in general. The second device is the way Crane uses common themes. So, the word red is used an adjective of the novel, just as it is in the title. Or, another example, Henry is walking through the woods that remind him of a chapel: from that moment there is a chorus, steeple, etc., used as adjectives and metaphors for the next few pages. This is truly poetic.

I am grateful that there are teams of volunteers that put this material together and release it for free for the Kindle. The Red Badge of Courage was a quick and entertaining read: if, like me, you did not have the chance to read it when you were younger I would certainly recommend it.
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Not a kids' book 14 May 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a British reader, I just recently read and reviewed this book over on, 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.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Crane's classic study of the effects of war on a young man. 17 Jun. 1999
By R. D. Allison ( - Published on
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.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Great Novel About Courage and Herosim 22 Feb. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Review 2 Jan. 2000
By Chew Wei Leong - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When we play chess, what is always the first piece we give up to attain triumph? The pawn, obviously. This front line soldier that is forever, so superfluous. Never mind what happens to that inferior pawn. In this Civil War novel, Stephen Crane invited me into the mind-set of just such a pawn. He came into contact with terror when he turned and ran for his life, and sensed a crushing shame at realizing his buddies stayed behind to fight the enemy. The burden of his shame was so overwhelming that he could not deal with it with everyday terms and mentally, created an alternate reality in which HE became the hero because he fled while his friends were the failures for thoughtlessly staying behind to die in vain. But by a twist of fate, his misfortunes were reversed and he discovered valor within himself. We even see the "pawn's" hatred for the "king", as he inwardly fumes at the arrogant general who insultingly refers to him and his companions as "mule drivers". This book is "confusing" because war is complex and both horrible and attractive to the main character, and I suppose it is "mind-numbing" because it does not give the prefect answers to the problems of war that it raises, but rather requires thoughtful and patient reading. Though the book dealed a lot with courage, take a look at the struggle with guilt and duty this youngster went through.
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