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"Stephen Crane at the Front" Topic


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Tango0112 May 2020 10:07 p.m. PST

"When the Spanish-American War broke out in April 1898, the author of America's first great war novel had yet to see his nation's troops in combat. Indeed, with the exception of one frustrating, illness-plagued month as a war correspondent in Greece a year earlier, Stephen Crane had never seen any troops in combat. But the brilliant young author of The Red Badge of Courage, published two years earlier, aimed to change that. With a contract in hand from London-based Blackwood's Magazine and a verbal commitment from the New York World, Crane set sail for Cuba, where the suspicious explosion of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana Harbor that February had given warmongers in the U.S. Congress and their supporters in the American yellow press the excuse to declare war on Spain, which had ruled Cuba for nearly four centuries. Although the Spanish government maintained that it was blameless for the Maine's destruction, an investigation by the U.S. Navy concluded that an explosion under the ship's hull had ignited its gunpowder magazines, suggesting foul play and making war all but inevitable…"
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