Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Red Badge of Courage (Classic Starts)” as Want to Read:
The Red Badge of Courage (Classic Starts)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Red Badge of Courage (Classic Starts)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,052 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
First published in 1895, America's greatest novel of the Civil War was written before 21-year-old Stephen Crane had "smelled even the powder of a sham battle." But this powerful psychological study of a young soldier's struggle with the horrors, both within and without, that war strikes the reader with its undeniable realism and with its masterful descriptions of the momen ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Sterling (first published 1895)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Red Badge of Courage, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Red Badge of Courage

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,805)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 06, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful work of American combat fiction. Perhaps the first of its kind in describing the feelings and emotions of a soldier "in the trenches" during the American Civil War. It is a very short work of fiction, but don't judge it's relative size by the gut-wrenching force it can pack at times. It is both emotional and gruesome, which for a combat novel of its day would make it well ahead of its time. In fact, I would say that most of the modern writers of combat--both fiction and non-fiction--w ...more
Luke Dorshorst
This was a fantastic read that focused on an American soldier in the trenches during the Civil War. This book created way more interest in me that i thought that it would, and it brought me into the past. This book showed me what it was like during the Civil War, vividly showed the emotions that soldiers carried around with them, and the desire that some carried to get out of battle. Through the main characters actions in the book, all the emotions and feelings that Henry goes through leads you ...more
Sep 17, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, c19th, usa
It’s only a novella, so it didn’t take long to read, and as a study of fear, bravery and accidental heroism it made an interesting coda to my listening of Faulks on Fiction in which Faulks discusses the way fictional heroes soon abandoned the old notions of the mythical hero as good and noble by default.

Henry is a young Yankee farmboy who enlists in the Civil War against his mother’s will, but her only advice is to him is to keep away from bad influences and ‘do what’s right’. Other reactions, h
Mar 19, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
I've been fixated on the Civil War since watching Ken Burns' PBS Series which also resulted in my having a huge crush on Shelby Foote. But anyway - I've done a ton of fiction and non-fiction reading on the subject and somehow had escaped (or missed) reading this until now. So - here we are in the 21st century reading a turn of the 20th century writer. What a difference 100 years makes. This isn't easy to read in terms of finding a rhythm - the writing is just simply different. The lapses into di ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Shannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Another Classic Starts book for my small workshop class, which was coupled with viewing the first two episodes of Harvard's Michael Sandel's justice series.

My students were interested by the topic, America's Civil War, and Henry's choices. Disobeying his mother, wanting to be seen as a hero, running away in battle, guilt, betrayal, lies, and redemption. While this book is easier than the actual classic, we upped the ante by analyzing Henry's choices, as well as the general's choices, via moral
All I can say is, I'm glad that's over. Thank heaven it was short.

You'll love this book if: You like books with lots of reflection and philosophy on the human mind. If you like really whiny, pride-driven, and/or long-winded MC's. If you like to read how war affects human tendencies. If you like war stories period. If you like a small part of the action and the view of the first person in a huge conflict that you never come to understand. If bad language and screwed up English is your cup o' tea.
J. Shimotake
The American school system is evil. It is predicated on muting the student's spirit enough that life will be accepted as a joyless march to the death. Also, it serves the grossest pizza. Middle school is the worst. There you were, swimming along with the same group of fat-faced idiots for six, seven years. You had your teacher and your classmates. Some years were tragic because you and your best bud, Danny Beerman had different teachers, but it wasn't the end of the world. There was always reces ...more
Dec 31, 2010 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I somehow had never read this, in spite of its status as one of the contenders for "Great American Novel." I'm not sure what I expected -- I had a vague impression it was about who a soldier who chickened out in the Civil War and was haunted ever after by his failure, but actually that's more "Lord Jim" than "Red Badge." What "Red Badge" turned out to be a is a very short tale of a young boy enlisted in the Union Army and dreaming of glory, and a minute recounting of his experiences before, duri ...more
This is another book I had to read in high school. I really didn't get much out of it at that time, and should read it again to see what I missed. I had come back to school, after being sick for a month, when the other students had being reading The Red Badge of Courage.

This wasn't an enjoyable read. The book is a classic. The young solider has played war as a youth, and thought of being a hero. He runs away during his first battle, and feels great guilt. He faces his fears, and redeems himself
Oct 13, 2015 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in high school--required. It was certainly different when I decided to re-read it! Similar to "All Quiet On The Western Front," the classic WW I novel, it explores the same issues set during the Civil War Interesting, informative, moving and memorable.
Jan 31, 2016 Dave rated it really liked it
This is a phenomenal war story about the struggles of any soldier in any war. The fear, anger, and questioning this character goes through keeps this piece timeless.
Non capisco se l'ho trovato noioso perché non mi piacciono i libri di guerra (bello scemo che mi sono scelto proprio questo libro) o perché mi ha dato problemi l'inglese.
Non capisco se sono io che non l'ho letto con la giusta attenzione o se davvero tutte le battaglie sono viste dall'alto, riassumibili in vaghi spari, vaghe urla, vaga rabbia e vaghe corse.
E non capisco la necessità di chiamare il protagonista «the youth», quasi mai per nome, e di scrivere i dialoghi il più realisticamente e quin
Kathy Gilbert
A classic, love the language.
10 year old. Better than some, not as good as others. Alrighty then!
It was OK, but I wasn't thrilled with it. I remember having to read this for middle school and I pretty much felt the same way then. Decades have only changed my point of view of Henry as "my peer" when I originally read this, to one where he is now "the youth". The descriptive fighting scenes were more than adequate and actually made the story bearable. The dialogue was challenging, but realistic nevertheless. A good ole coming of age war story set smack in the middle of the Civil War.
Maynard Spitzack
The making of a man.

An engrossing account of a youngster growing to manhood in the throes of battle. The struggle between cowardice and sense of duty is exposed brilliantly by Crane. Recommended for anyone striving to discover their true, inner self.
Lori Henrich
This was an okay book for me. A young man joins the army and goes off to war. He feels confident until the first battle when he turns tail and runs for it. He eventually gets back with his regiment and gets back into battle.

It was a strange read since names aren't used very much at all. It was an unusual style. I was glad I read it, but wouldn't have been disappointed if I hadn't.
Jason Jacob
Dec 02, 2011 Jason Jacob rated it it was ok
My friend introduced to me this book and told me to read it, so I borrowed his book and read it a year after. *insert big smile*

What really bothers me about this book was the point of view of the story. I keep on turning back the pages to see who was speaking, the author or the main character. I think that the book is a bit boring for my liking.
Sep 29, 2016 Wes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
Pretty good. Nothing earth shattering for me. One thing though, if Stephen Crane had never seen battle before, where was he getting his "inspiration?" Was he taking it from newspapers, or is the idea of him never having seen a battle a myth? I personally think it is a myth, but who knows.
Jul 21, 2015 Rachael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon, y-list
Totally not my thing. I skimmed a lot of the battle descriptions because I just didn't understand what was going on and I didn't think it was really that important. Unfortunately, not much else happened. I was glad it was a short book (and free).
Mohamed Ibrahim
Nov 10, 2012 Mohamed Ibrahim rated it really liked it
Shelves: unit-2
This book made me feel like am in the actual war see enemy hear gunfire and all of the war stuff. it also brought me nightmares but the good ones but i still find it a really good book
Jan 12, 2010 Jill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why this is a classic. I don't think the author is a good writer and the book seemed too chaotic to me--even if that was his intent to show the chaos of war. BORING
Apr 24, 2013 Ellen rated it liked it
This book was alright. Just... too short :D Great lesson and storyplot though- just felt like the story is being rushed here.

Too bad- I was hoping to read the original copy
Oct 29, 2013 Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jack-kleintop
Great book about a boy named Henry.Henry goes into the civil war and learns how to face his fears.He stands up to his fears and with all his bravery and all he's got.
While the style of writing was quite nice and rather enjoyable, war stories just aren't for me. Especially when war is literally all the whole book is about.
Jan 12, 2010 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What sets this book apart is its insight into the psyche of a fresh soldier and that the battle it is told from the private's clouded perspective.
Jan 05, 2013 Katie rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
I read it and don't really know what happened. Maybe I was bored and didn't care to actually comprehend
Sep 17, 2011 Nathaniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book about the Civil War. Young readers would really enjoy it.
Aug 23, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-list
This was brutal. Brutally boring. I can't believe the boys wanted to finish it.
Nikki Williams
So good as a summer reading and I wish more people pick it
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 60 61 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Prince and the Pauper (Classic Starts Series adaptations)
  • Pinocchio (Classic Starts Series)
  • The Jungle Book (Classic Starts Series)
  • Robinson Crusoe (Classic Starts)
  • Treasure Island
  • The Wind in the Willows
  • Greek Myths (Classic Starts Series)
  • Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass (Classic Starts Series)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (Classic Starts Series)

Other Books in the Series

Classic Starts (1 - 10 of 54 books)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Classic Starts Series)
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Classic Starts Series)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (Classic Starts Series)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass (Classic Starts Series)
  • Animal Stories (Classic Starts Series)
  • Anne of Avonlea (Classic Start Series)
  • Anne of Green Gables (Classic Starts)
  • Arabian Nights (Classic Starts Series)

Share This Book

“But he instantly saw that it would be impossible for him to escape from the regiment. It inclosed him. And there were iron laws of tradition and law on four sides. He was in a moving box. As he perceived this fact it occurred to him that he had never wished to come to the war. He had not enlisted of his free will. He had been dragged by the merciless government. And now they were taking him out to be slaughtered.” 0 likes
More quotes…