Far and away the best thing of the kind that I have come across. Not only a history of American letters, with special emphasis on the humorists and their place in the sun, but a sympathetic study of each of the outstanding humorists in turn. Following a critical appraisal and biographical sketch, a placing of the man in his period come selections from the work of each man discussed. A book that is ideal for pick up reading, and is important for the student of American literature as well. Among the men covered are Washington Irving, Artemis Ward, Josh Billings, Bret Harte, Mark Twain, O. Henry, Peter Finley Dunne, Irving Cobb, Robert Benchley, and many others. He devotes one section to columnists -- and closes with a tribute to Will Rogers.