Mark Twain's Weapons of Satire

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by Mark Twain

Mark Twain was described by a contemporary newspaper as the "most influential anti-imperialist and the most dreaded critic of the sacrosanct person in the White House that the country contains." Although not a pacifist, Twain was the most prominent opponent of the Philippine-American War. Today, however, this aspect of Mark Twain's career is barely known. His writings on the war have never been collected in a single volume, and a number of them are published here for the first time. Although he was a vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League from 1901 to 1910, until now no thorough study had been made of his relationship with the organized opposition to the war.

Drawing upon the unpublished manuscripts of Mark Twain and various leaders of the League, Jim Zwick's Introduction and headnotes provide the most complete account of Twain's involvement in the anti-imperialist movement. Mark Twain's writings sparked intense controversy when they were written. Readers will appreciate the continuing relevance and quotability of his statements on the abuse of patriotism, the "treason" of requiring school children to salute the flag, the right to dissent, the importance of self-government, and the value of America's democratic and anticolonial traditions. This book will prove valuable to all who are interested in Twain and his works as well as to teachers of literature, peace studies, and history.

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— Mark Twain, Mark Twain's Weapons of Satire