"The Red Badge of Courage" is not a story of Wan It is War, the real unvarnished thing. I have met every one of the characters on the fire-step of the trenches in France. They are not dead; they are still fighting, although in different uniforms and under other flags. They will never die.
To a soldier who has been under fire, "The Red Badge of Courage" takes him back amid bullets and shell bursts and it is impossible for him to believe that he is reading, because he lives each character as it appears in print.
To the civilian who has never smelled powder, and who wants to know what it feels like to have the bullets "cracking" around him and the shells moaning overhead and tearing up the landscape, "The Red Badge of Courage" will take him safely through battle, and when he reaches "The End" he also is a veteran and he also carried that flag into the teeth of the enemy. He, too, died from a tear in his side, standing up, with his boots on.
"The Red Badge of Courage" sends a warm glow through the heart of the reader, makes him want to carry the Stars and Stripes into the thick of the enemy, to be up and at them, and makes him feel proud that he also belongs to Uncle Sam, and that he also has a flag to carry in this War, our War, our Flag. If he does not feel this way, he is not a red-blooded man — he is a worm.
It makes a mother, sister, or sweetheart feel proud that she has one who in France will carry the Stars and Stripes "over the top”; although not carried in his hands, it is in his heart
Put into moving pictures it would make a wonderful recruiting film, but the book must be read before seeing the picture, so that you will feel it, breathe it, live it. It is a classic, an undying part of the War which our fathers fought