There’s plenty of vinegar here but plenty of the homespun and funny Twain as well. Essential for serious students of his...



A century after his death, the great American writer and controversialist speaks plainly—and sometimes not so nicely—from beyond the grave.

Earlier editions of this autobiography appeared throughout the 20th century, but Twain instructed that the unexpurgated version not appear for a century to spare the feelings not just of individuals, but also of their grandchildren. The great-grandchildren are on their own, however, and here Twain lights in with delight on unscrupulous publishers, swindling partners, unethical corporate barons and politicians. As he announced in planning his memoirs, which he began in 1870 and worked on until nearly the end of his life, Twain was not going to bind himself to the rules of chronology (and perhaps not those of the strict truth, either) but instead, would indulge his storytelling wont, being “as digressive and discursive as he likes,” in the words of the volume editors. That is just so, and Twain ambles here and there, from childhood to reminiscences of his friendship with U.S. Grant, recording his adventures and misadventures and his wide travels. From this volume, we learn, for instance, that England was woefully behind the times in telephony in 1896 (“Years ago there was a telephone system in England, but in the country parts it is about dead, and what is left of it in London has no value”), that he was 10 when he thrilled to the accomplishments of the Antarctic explorer Charles Wilkes, and that Twain was a resolute and angry anti-imperialist and a scourge of politicians more fiery than even his image of old would have it—even though, his editors note, he was a Republican as early as 1868.

There’s plenty of vinegar here but plenty of the homespun and funny Twain as well. Essential for serious students of his work and readable and revealing for all its surrounding scholarly apparatus.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-520-26719-0

Page Count: 736

Publisher: Univ. of California

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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