Mark Twain: social philosopher.


Bloomington : Indiana University Press, [1962] .

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Subjects Political and social views.
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910 -- Political and social views.
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910.
Description x, 245 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 21 cm
Copyright Date [1962]
Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 216-217. Bibliographical references included in "Notes" (pages 218-236)).
Summary "The popular image of Mark Twain as a rough and ready crusader and champion of American virtues is not the one projected by Louis J. Budd's careful analysis. Instead, we see revealed a complex, seemingly self-contradictory sage, on the whole typically representative of ninetheenth-century liberalism with all the conservative leanings--by modern standards--of that school of thought. Deeply concerned with social ethics, he was pragmatic in demanding that moral principles work in political cases. He opposed women's suffrage, approved of importing cheap Chinese labor, believed that poverty haunted only those who deserved it, and subscribed to a middle class code of business ethics. Twain also had the typical liberal's faith in the powers of technology, if it was free from the shackles of established church and royalty--his two pet peeves. He opposed the spoils system, derided southern "chivalry," and early in his career, was critical of the Irish, Jews, Roman Catholics and other targets of the know-nothings, with whom he sympathized. He mellowed as the years progressed, notably in his attitude toward Negroes; yet his social philosophy remained complex enough to allow Louis J. Budd to remark: "the cheerful scholars who screen his books for nuggets to enrich our democratic tradition have to brush aside much gritty skepticism, and the opposite school who expose him as a hypocritical profiteer on the "Gilded Age" could easily find that he never held the attitudes he is accused of betraying. And anybody who, without taking political sides, yet praises Twain as unshakably American, must pass over much that will puzzle and irritate the star-spangled admirer who reads him with care. Mr. Budd's vivid recreation of the political Mark Twain draws heavily on little-known newspaper columns and personal letters which often make clearer the trends of his major works and occasionally change their apparent meanings. The works themselves are carefully analyzed for their political and social implications, and original illustrations from such books as 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court' are reproduced with photographs of their real-life counterparts pointing up the political satire involved. In the end, Mr. Budd concludes, Mark Twain's decency and strong sense of justice succeeded in raising him above the moral failings of his time: 'born to an era of rising nationalism, Twain had steadily fought clear of its excess and the prejudice that usually came with them ... ' Twain's final musings decided that 'patriotism, even at its best ... has one blemish--it naturally erects barriers against the B of M ... ' He could use initials for the brotherhood of man because it was so heavy on his mind that he would not forget what this time meant."--Jacket.
Contents Political apprentice -- Acquiring reporter -- A curious republican -- Solid citizen -- The scalawag -- Uncle Sam -- The bankrupt -- Dollarless diplomacy -- The white knight.
Network Numbers (OCoLC)271035
(OCoLC)ocm00271035
WorldCat Search OCLC WorldCat
WorldCat Identities Budd, Louis J.
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