The second of two hardcover volumes collecting the major nonfiction by the “father of American literature,” including excerpts from The Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, A Tramp Abroad, and Life on the Mississippi.
Twain’s playful exuberance and remarkable storytelling gifts are on full display as he regales readers with real-life adventures in these rollicking, shrewd, and hilarious autobiographical works. In these pages, we follow him through his stint as a fledgling reporter out West to his attempt to navigate a steamboat on the Mississippi River, and all during his experiences as an irreverent and skeptical traveler through Europe and the Holy Land. Gleefully iconoclastic, whether he is puncturing the pretensions of others or aiming his satirical barbs squarely at himself, Twain also proves to be deeply compassionate, as fierce in his condemnation of injustice as he is skillful in mining the humor in human folly. Long hailed as “the Lincoln of our literature,” Twain harbored as rich and fertile a blend of contradictions as the dynamic nation he came to embody—and define.