Cover: American Vandal: Mark Twain Abroad, from Harvard University PressCover: American Vandal in HARDCOVER

American Vandal

Mark Twain Abroad

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Product Details


$27.95 • £22.95 • €25.00

ISBN 9780674416697

Publication Date: 03/10/2015


288 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

Belknap Press


Morris is a first-rate tour guide. He knows his subject, cites other authorities with respect and presents a good deal of information with easygoing, professional smoothness. [An] entertaining and—despite its title—eminently civilized book.—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

American Vandal provides a fresh account of the great satirist’s life and work by arguing that his world view was the product of experience that was unusual for a popular American writer in this period. It offers us an account of the dozen years in total which Twain spent overseas, part of a life of travel that included twenty-nine transatlantic crossings, excursions across India, New Zealand, the Mediterranean and Caribbean… One strength of American Vandal is that Morris places Twain’s travel writings at the heart of his achievement.—Tom F. Wright, The Times Literary Supplement

If you want a guide through [Twain’s] travelogues or through the experiences that produced them, then you could not find a better one than Twain biographer Roy Morris Jr. He is not merely well-informed about his subject, he is truly attuned to the mind and sensibility of the man… American Vandal shows a consistently sure and wise touch.—Martin Rubin, The Washington Times

Morris writes smoothly and engagingly about Mark Twain’s travels, through life as much as through foreign scenes.—D. E. Sloane, Choice

In this vibrant, fresh look at the venerable writer, historian Morris traces Twain’s journeys and his evolving perspective on world politics and peoples… A brisk narrative and sensitive insights make this book a delight.Kirkus Reviews

For readers not familiar with Mark Twain’s travel literature, Morris will open up a new facet of his extensive writing career… This lively overview provides an accessible entry point to the lesser‚Äźknown works of a great American writer.Publishers Weekly

Only an accomplished storyteller should dare to take up the life of our most revered raconteur, and Morris measures up. There is no shortage of Twain biographies; one as well researched and as well told as this one deserves to be among them.—Lawrence Howe, author of Mark Twain and the Novel: The Double Cross of Authority

Morris effectively evokes both the personal and political realities behind Twain’s fictions and semi-fictions to demonstrate how Twain himself debunked then-prevalent myths of travel and of national character. American Vandal gives readers a fresh view of Mark Twain while casting a revealing light on American identity.—James Leonard, editor of The Mark Twain Journal

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