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June 08 , 2008

Mark Twain on Potholes and Politics

Letters to the Editor


Whether he was taking us along for a journey down the Mississippi with a couple of runaways or delivering speeches on the importance of careful lying, Mark Twain had an innate ability to captivate readers and listeners alike with his trademark humor and sarcasm. Twain never lacked for material, either, as his strong opinions regarding most issues gave him countless opportunities to articulate his thoughts in the voice that only he could provide.
A frequent outlet for Twain’s wit was in letters to the editors of various newspapers and periodicals. Sharing his thoughts and opinions on topical issues ranging from national affairs to local social events, with swipes along the way at woman suffrage, potholes, literary piracy and other scams, slow mail delivery, police corruption, capital punishment, and the removal of Huck Finn from libraries, Twain never hesitated to speak his mind. And now thanks to Gary Scharnhorst, more than a hundred of these letters are available in one place for us to enjoy.
From his opinions on the execution of an intellectually brilliant murderer, to his scathing review of a bureau he perceived as “a pack of idiots” running on a currency of doughnuts, Twain’s pure, unbridled voice is evident throughout his letters. Mark Twain on Potholes and Politicsgives readers a chance to delve further than ever before into the musings of the most recognizable voice in American literature.
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