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Ambrose Bierce

Roy Morris

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126280
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854165 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195126280.001.0001
Ambrose Bierce

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This book is a portrait of one of the most acerbic and distinctive voices in American literature, 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 50 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. This biography 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, rancour, and spiritual isolation.

Keywords: Ambrose Bierce; Civil War; short stories; Devil's Dictionary

Book.  318 pages. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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Table of Contents

Direst of All Disasters in Ambrose Bierce

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What I Saw of Shiloh in Ambrose Bierce

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The Woods of Chickamauga in Ambrose Bierce

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A Brave and Gallant Fellow in Ambrose Bierce

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I Respectfully Decline the Appointment in Ambrose Bierce

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The Mentor, Whip and Mirror of the Town in Ambrose Bierce

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A Better Country in Ambrose Bierce

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Prattle in Ambrose Bierce

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The Devil and the Wasp in Ambrose Bierce

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The Friction That We Name Grief in Ambrose Bierce

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