Tales of Soldiers and Civilians

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Kent State University Press, 2004 - Fiction - 222 pages
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This revised edition of Ambrose Bierce's 1892 collection of "Soldiers" and "Civilians" tales fills a void in American literature. A veteran of the Civil War and a journalist known for his integrity and biting satire, Ambrose Bierce was also a lively short-story writer of considerable depth and power. As San Francisco's most famous journalist during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Bierce was hired by William Randolph Hearst to write a column for San Francisco Examiner, where his "Soldiers" and "Civilians" tales first appeared during the late 1880s. By the standards of his day and ours, Bierce's journalism was often brilliantly insightful, viciously libelous, petty, and grand, frequently in the space of a single paragraph. This edition reveals the often compelling artistry of Bierce's original versions of the tales and the intentionally intricate design and scope of the original collection.
 

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Contents

IV
3
V
9
VI
17
VII
23
VIII
29
IX
39
X
44
XI
51
XVI
86
XVII
98
XVIII
105
XIX
109
XX
113
XXI
120
XXII
125
XXIII
130

XII
58
XIII
63
XIV
71
XV
80
XXIV
219
XXV
222
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About the author (2004)

Ambrose Bierce was a brilliant, bitter, and cynical journalist. He is also the author of several collections of ironic epigrams and at least one powerful story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Bierce was born in Ohio, where he had an unhappy childhood. He served in the Union army during the Civil War. Following the war, he moved to San Francisco, where he worked as a columnist for the newspaper the Examiner, for which he wrote a number of satirical sketches. Bierce wrote a number of horror stories, some poetry, and countless essays. He is best known, however, for The Cynic's Word Book (1906), retitled The Devil's Dictionary in 1911, a collection of such cynical definitions as "Marriage: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two." Bierce's own marriage ended in divorce, and his life ended mysteriously. In 1913, he went to Mexico and vanished, presumably killed in the Mexican revolution.

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