Stephen Crane was an American journalist and writer who seemed to revel in danger: in his work he spent time with gangsters and prostitutes, covered two wars, and in 1897 he was shipwrecked off the Florida coast. 'The Red Badge of Courage' is his literary masterpiece, and ranks as one of the world's great novels on War and the men who fight them. Written in 1895, the book follows the adventures of a young Union soldier whose early cowardice is transformed to courage in the furnace of battle. Crane's prose is famous for its clear 'warts and all' description of combat and the effect it has on the lives and minds of ordinary men. Tragically, Stephen Crane died at just 28, the victim of tuberculosis.