Civil War Institute
Ambrose Bierce, 1842-1913?, has become renowned in the Civil War world for his sharp-witted and cynical short stories that frequently feature ghastly death and the terrible irony of survival. His life has become somewhat of a caricature, used by historians such as Mark Snell and Gerald Linderman to demonstrate the utter disillusionment of the common soldier and the retreat into hibernation in an attempt to escape the trauma experienced during the war. This view of Bierce fails to capture the complexity of the man and his war experience. Rather than a skeptical realist, Bierce demonstrates the characteristics of a jaded romantic. [excerpt]
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Johnson, S. Marianne, "A Jaded Romantic: Uncovering the True Nature of Ambrose Bierce" (2014). The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History. 49.