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"Backgrounds and Sources" contains biographical, historical, and contextual material on both The Red Badge of Courage and the war fiction genre.
Frederick Crews, Donald Pizer, Harold R. Hungerford, Eric Solomon, and J. C. Levenson provide the framework for understanding the novel as both literature and history.
A selection of Stephen Crane's letters and an illustration from the battle of Chancellorsville, upon which the novel is based, are also included.
"Criticism" is a collection of fourteen essays (six of them new to the Third Edition) representing the best of what has been written about The Red Badge of Courage, from the earliest estimates to the expressions of current schools of critical interpretation.
Early assessments by Stephen Crane (in a self-judgment), George Wyndham, and Frank Norris are accompanied by those of mid-to late-twentieth-century critics R. W. Stallman, John E. Hart, Charles C. Walcutt, John Fraser, Robert M. Rechnitz, Harry B. Henderson, James Nagel, Donald Pizer, Amy Kaplan, David Halliburton, and James Cox.
A new Chronology and an updated Selected Bibliography are also included.
This classic Civil War novel captures the destructiveness of all wars, the limits of individual endurance, and the nature of cowardice and heroism.