Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA
Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company

Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company


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A lively and compelling portrait of one of the most acerbic and distinctive voices in American literature, Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company is a clear-eyed but sympathetic account of a complex individual at odds with his country, his family, his times, and himself.
The only American writer of any stature to fight in and survive the Civil War, Bierce discovered in the conflict a bitter confirmation of his darkest assumptions about man and his nature. Profoundly disillusioned, Bierce spent the next fifty years struggling to disabuse his fellow Americans of their own cherished ideals—be they romantic, religious, or political. His groundbreaking short stories of the war, including his most famous work, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," have had a lasting influence on every subsequent American author dealing with war. And the heartless, hilarious aphorisms in his caustic lexicon The Devil's Dictionary have entered, often uncredited, our national consciousness.
In this insightful, critically acclaimed biography, the first comprehensive study in almost fifty years, Roy Morris, Jr., accounts for both the influential art that Ambrose Bierce made from a harsh and unforgiving vision—and the high price he had to pay for it in loneliness, rancor, and spiritual isolation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195126280
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 11/01/1998
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Roy Morris, Jr., is the editor of America's Civil War and the author of Sheridan: The Life and Wars of General Phil Sheridan. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Prologue 1(5)
1. Direst of All Disasters
2. What I Saw of Shiloh
3. The Woods of Chickamauga
4. A Brave and Gallant Fellow
5. I Respectfully Decline the Appointment
6. The Mentor, Whip and Mirror of the Town
7. A Better Country
8. Prattle
9. The Devil and the Wasp
10. The Friction That We Name Grief
11. What a Thing It Is to Be a Ghost
12. There Be Divers Sorts of Death
Epilogue 269(3)
Notes 272(24)
Bibliography 296(3)
Index 299

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