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The Red Badge of Courage
Cover of The Red Badge of Courage
The Red Badge of Courage
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The Red Badge of Courage was published in 1895, when its author, an impoverished writer living a bohemian life in New York, was only twenty-three. It immediately became a bestseller, and Stephen Crane became famous. Crane set out to create "a psychological portrayal of fear." Henry Fleming, a Union Army volunteer in the Civil War, thinks "that perhaps in a battle he might run....As far as war was concerned he knew nothing of himself." And he does run in his first battle, full of fear and then remorse. He encounters a grotesquely rotting corpse propped against a tree, and a column of wounded men, one of whom is a friend who dies horribly in front of him. Fleming receives his own "red badge" when a fellow soldier hits him in the head with a gun. "The idea of falling like heroes on ceremonial battlefields," Ford Madox Ford remarked later, "was gone forever." Shelby Foote, author of The Civil
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with afford-
able hardbound editions of impor-
tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-
fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring
as its emblem the running torch-
bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-
gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
The Red Badge of Courage was published in 1895, when its author, an impoverished writer living a bohemian life in New York, was only twenty-three. It immediately became a bestseller, and Stephen Crane became famous. Crane set out to create "a psychological portrayal of fear." Henry Fleming, a Union Army volunteer in the Civil War, thinks "that perhaps in a battle he might run....As far as war was concerned he knew nothing of himself." And he does run in his first battle, full of fear and then remorse. He encounters a grotesquely rotting corpse propped against a tree, and a column of wounded men, one of whom is a friend who dies horribly in front of him. Fleming receives his own "red badge" when a fellow soldier hits him in the head with a gun. "The idea of falling like heroes on ceremonial battlefields," Ford Madox Ford remarked later, "was gone forever." Shelby Foote, author of The Civil
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with afford-
able hardbound editions of impor-
tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-
fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring
as its emblem the running torch-
bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-
gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
Available formats-
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    3
  • Library copies:
    3
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    8.0
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    6 - 12

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Chapter 1



    The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet; 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.

    Once a certain tall soldier developed virtues and went resolutely to wash a shirt. He came flying back from a brook waving his garment bannerlike. He was swelled with a tale he had heard from a reliable friend, who had heard it from a truthful cavalryman, who had heard it from his trustworthy brother, one of the orderlies at division headquarters. He adopted the important air of a herald in red and gold.

    "We're goin' t' move t' morrah--sure," he said pompously to a group in the company street. "We're goin' 'way up the river, cut across, an' come around in behint 'em."

    To his attentive audience he drew a loud and elaborate plan of a very brilliant campaign. When he had finished, the blue-clothed men scattered into small arguing groups between the rows of squat brown huts. A negro teamster who had been dancing upon a cracker box with the hilarious encouragement of two-score soldiers was deserted. He sat mournfully down. Smoke drifted lazily from a multitude of quaint chimneys.

    "It's a lie! that's all it is--a thunderin' lie!" said another private loudly. His smooth face was flushed, and his hands were thrust sulkily into his trousers' pockets. He took the matter as an affront to him. "I don't believe the derned old army's ever going to move. We're set. I've got ready to move eight times in the last two weeks, and we ain't moved yet."

    The tall soldier felt called upon to defend the truth of a rumor he himself had introduced. He and the loud one came near to fighting over it.

    A corporal began to swear before the assemblage. He had just put a costly board floor in his house, he said. During the early spring he had refrained from adding extensively to the comfort of his environment because he had felt that the army might start on the march at any moment. Of late, however, he had been impressed that they were in a sort of eternal camp.

    Many of the men engaged in a spirited debate. One outlined in a peculiarly lucid manner all the plans of the commanding general. He was opposed by men who advocated that there were other plans of campaign. They clamored at each other, numbers making futile bids for the popular attention. Meanwhile, the soldier who had fetched the rumor bustled about with much importance. He was continually assailed by questions.

    "What's up, Jim?"

    "Th' army's goin' t' move."

    "Ah, what yeh talkin' about. How yeh know it is?"

    "Well, yeh kin b'lieve me er not, jest as yeh like. I don't care a hang."

    There was much food for thought in the manner in which he replied. He came near to convincing them by disdaining to produce proofs. They grew much excited over it.

    There was a youthful private who listened with eager ears to the words of the tall soldier and to the varied comments of his comrades. After receiving a fill of discussions concerning marches and attacks, he went to his hut and crawled through an intricate hole that served it as a door. He wished to be alone with some new thoughts...
About the Author-
  • Stephen Crane was born in 1871, in Newark, New Jersey. He attempted college twice, the second time failing a theme-writing course while writing articles for newspapers such as the New York Tribune. In 1892 Crane moved to the poverty of New York City's Lower East Side—the Bowery so vividly depicted in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. In 1894 the serial publication began of The Red Badge of Courage, his acclaimed and widely popular novel of a young soldier's coming of age in the Civil War. He died in Germany at the age of twenty-eight, in June of 1900.
    Scott Brick, an acclaimed voice artist, screenwriter, and actor, has performed on film, television, and radio. His stage appearances throughout the US include Cyrano, Hamlet, and MacBeth. In the audio industry, Scott has won over 20 Earphones Awards, as well as the 2003 Audie Award in the Best Science Fiction category for Dune: The Butlerian Jihad. After recording nearly 250 books in five years, AudioFile Magazine named Scott "one of the fastest-rising stars in the audiobook galaxy" and proclaimed him one of their Golden Voices. Brick's range is unparalleled as he reads thrillers to narrative nonfiction, from biographies to science fiction with aplomb.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Among the classic war novels, THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE ranks with the best. Its setting is the Civil War; its hero of sorts is young recruit ("fresh fish") Henry Fleming; and its plot focuses on the boredom, fear, cowardice, and bravery that Henry faces as best he can, often more instinctively than intellectually. Reader Scott Brick is fine. He has a storyteller's interest in Henry and the other soldiers, particularly the tall soldier and the loud soldier who wield such an influence on Henry. Brick's best at the matter-of-fact leave-taking between the eager to fight Henry and his reluctant mother and, later, in the battle scenes, in which the tempo quickens. Stephen Crane would be pleased with this rendition of his enduring work. T.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine Stephen Crane's novella tells the story of a nineteenth-century youth who casts off his romantic notions as he experiences the Civil War. The impressionistic style of the text, vivid details, and attention to local accents are notable in Crane's style. Scott Brick's narration maintains the tempo of the text perfectly. With a slow pace and purposeful tone, he meanders through Crane's descriptions and picks up speed in the battle scenes. In a book that fluctuates between inner personal struggle and external events, Brick's measured delivery maintains a sense of clarity. He also captures the rugged infantrymen by emphasizing their country drawls and local slang. Brick's reading ably contrasts the beauty of Crane's descriptive language with the coarse depictions of wartime soldiers. D.M.W. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • Alfred Kazin "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."
Title Information+
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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