New In Paperback

July 30, 2006

Mark Twain: A Life By Ron Powers

Free Press / 620 pages / $16

Powers argues compellingly that Mark Twain was "the representative figure of his times" embodying America during the tumultuous late 19th and early 20th centuries, from the divided self of the Civil War, through the unstable prosperity of the Gilded Age, to the verge of World War I. While many Twain biographies have been written before, none succeeds like Powers' in presenting the totality of the man in his many moods and phases of life, including acerbic son and brother, prank-prone youth, competitive writer, demanding friend, loving husband and, eventually, globe-trotting celebrity.

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