One of the most widely read poems of our time, John Brown's Body is Stephen Vincent Benet's masterful retelling of the Civil War. A book of great energy and sweep, it swings into view the entire course of that terrible and decisive war, lighting up the lives of soldiers, leaders, and civilians, North and South, amidst the conflict. Generations of readers have found the book a compelling and moving experience. Magnificently readable. -New Statesman. It is t one of your tours de forces of intellect and technique, to be admired and then tucked away on the library shelf. It is a library of storytelling itself, a poem extraordinarily rich in action as well as actors, vivid, varied, and so expressive of many men and moods that prose could never have carried its electric burden. -Saturday Review. A remarkable piece of imaginative reporting; and one in which t only the forces which make history are embodied in the speech and action of very diverse men and women but the ideas also of which these forces were the driving power. -London Times Literary Supplement.
Stephen Vincent Benet (1898-1943) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1929 for John Brown's Body. In his prose and poetry he often retold American history, folktales, and legends. Among his many other works is The Devil and Daniel Webster.