Ambrose Bierce was well known for his biting wit and cynical approach to life. A Cynic Looks at Life is a collection of essays in which he talks about modern civilization and all its faults, the death penalty and many others. His arguments are still relevant to issues of today. Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842 – 1914?) was an American satirist, critic, poet, editor and journalist. Bierce became a prolific author of short stories often humorous and sometimes bitter or macabre. He spoke out against oppression and supported civil and religious freedoms. He also wrote numerous Civil War stories from first-hand experience. Many of his works are ranked among other esteemed American authors' like Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen Crane, and Mark Twain.