13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Self-Deception in the Face of War,
By A Customer
This review is from: Civil War Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
"Bitter Bierce", as he was often dubbed, Ambrose Bierce is one of the few Civil War writers who actually participated in the war. He was one of the first writers to describe the ugliness of war. In his stories he is more interested in the character's role as soldier than in character development. In the 16 stories, most from 1891, including "Chickamauga", "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge", and "A Horseman in the Sky", there are early examples of stream-of- consciousness, and it is obvious how Bierce has influenced another famous war writer, Stephen Crane. Some major themes of the stories are the human capacity of self-deception, war as an image of fate, and a concern with man's depravity. Written in clear, realistic prose, these stories are brutal, pessimistic, satirical, and extremely powerful and draw lines to writers like Melville, Poe, Hemingway, Dos Passos, and Tim O'Brien. A powerful collection of immediate importance, it speaks as clearly to us today as it did 100 years ago!