Confederate Bushwhacker: Mark Twain in the Shadow of the Civil War

Overview

Confederate Bushwhacker is a microbiography set in the most important and pivotal year in the life of its subject. In 1885, Mark Twain was at the peak of his career as an author and a businessman, as his own publishing firm brought out not only the U.S. edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but also the triumphantly successful Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant. Twenty years after the end of the Civil War, Twain finally tells the story of his past as a deserter from the losing side, while simultaneously ...

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Confederate Bushwhacker: Mark Twain in the Shadow of the Civil War

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Overview

Confederate Bushwhacker is a microbiography set in the most important and pivotal year in the life of its subject. In 1885, Mark Twain was at the peak of his career as an author and a businessman, as his own publishing firm brought out not only the U.S. edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but also the triumphantly successful Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant. Twenty years after the end of the Civil War, Twain finally tells the story of his past as a deserter from the losing side, while simultaneously befriending and publishing the general from the winning side. Coincidentally, the year also marks the beginning of Twain’s descent into misfortune, his transformation from a humorist into a pessimist and determinist. Interwoven throughout this portrait are the headlines and crises of 1885—black lynchings, Indian uprisings, anti-Chinese violence, labor unrest, and the death of Grant. The year was at once Twain’s annus mirabilis and the year of his undoing. The meticulous treatment of this single year by the esteemed biographer Jerome Loving enables him to look backward and forward to capture both Twain and the country at large in a time of crisis and transformation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The veracity of ‘The Private History of a Campaign That Failed’ and how its composition reflected or changed Samuel Clemens’s outlook on life as expressed through his subsequent literature will continue to be debated among scholars. Loving’s study focuses on the broader picture of America in the shadow of the Civil War and how Samuel Clemens stepped out of it to deliver his own story.”—Mark Twain Forum

“The author of a major Mark Twain biography returns here with a true masterstroke—a searching analysis of one pivotal year in his subject’s life.”—Alan Gribben, author of Mark Twain’s Library

“Jerome Loving considers America’s most beloved literary figure from a fresh, revealing viewpoint. [His] distinctive treatment brings back the richest of days in the life of a mercurial genius.”—Philip McFarland, author of Mark Twain and the Colonel

“This is a wonderful example of a new kind of book. It is written by a widely respected scholar, so you can trust its accuracy, and it is written so well that you will find yourself unwilling to put it down. Loving gives us Twain at high tide; this is a vivid, fresh portrait of one of the central writers of America, very skillfully done. Loving shows us why we never tire of Mark Twain.” —Robert D. Richardson, author of William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism, winner of the Bancroft Prize

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611684650
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 1,390,429
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

JEROME LOVING is Distinguished Professor of English at Texas A&M University, and author of biographies of Walt Whitman, Theodore Dreiser, and Mark Twain.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Prelude: “Mark Twain’s War Experiences,” New York Times, October 7, 1877
On the Eve of Huckleberry Finn
Skirting the Mason-Dixon
The Greatest General Who Ever Lived
March of the White Man
“The Private History of a Campaign That Failed”
The “Private” History and the “Personal” Memoir
The Killing of Strangers
Connecticut Yankee
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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