The Red Badge of Courage

by Stephen Crane
160 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by bookRacoon

One of the best-known war books, with poor morals.


This book is the journal of young Henry Fleming, who signed up and fought in the Civil War. It describes his decision to sign up, his life during many of the battles that took place in the plot, and finally, the "new and improved Henry" after the battles. In the last battle mentioned in the book, Henry is the flag-carrier for his cavalry.


Henry is a selfish coward; it seemed that he was always thinking something along the lines of "Should I run? No; what will the others think. Yes; I'm too good to die." He also leaves a wounded soldier to die after the soldier finds out that Henry fled a battle.

Spiritual Content

God is not mentioned here; the characters, mainly Henry, do not live moral lives.


This is a war book, so the violence in this book corresponds: a man's arm looks as if wolves had bitten it; there is blood wounds and bloody bandages all around. People die and their corpses lie around.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



This book was written to inform readers of the horrors of the Civil War, which Henry fought in, as well as all wars in general. This book is considered to be one of the great American classics because it is one of the first widely-known war books.

Fun Score: 2.5
Values Score: 2
Written for Age: adult

Review Rating:

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