Books: The Misanthrope

AMBROSE BIERCE: A BIOGRAPHY by Richard O'Connor. 333 pages. Little, Brown. $6.95.

THE ENLARGED DEVIL'S DICTIONARY by Ambrose Bierce. 300 pages. Doubleday. $5.95.

Late in November of 1913, Ambrose Bierce, 71, afflicted with asthma and rue, crossed the border into Mexico. He had declared a journalist's interest in the Mexican revolution and planned to seek out Pancho Villa. Around Christmas Day that year, he sent a letter home from Chihuahua City. It was the last that anyone heard from Ambrose Bierce. He vanished.

And so, in a sense, has Bierce's considerable literary reputation. No...

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