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Captain Jinks, Hero

Ernest Howard Crosby

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A biting satire of late 19th-century American imperialism, Captain Jinks, Hero was written by the American pacifist Ernest Howard Crosby. Crosby, who corresponded with Leo Tolstoy and advocated Tolstoy’s pacifist ideals in the United States, lambasts the American military and its involvement in the Spanish-American War and the Boxer Rebellion through the character of Captain Jinks, a jingoistic officer who embarks on a tragicomic quest to become a “perfect soldier.” The novel also satirizes the role of industrial and media interests in promoting war through the character of Jinks’s friend and companion Cleary, a yellow journalist who feeds sensational stories back to the home front at the behest of editors and monopolists.

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