What Is Man?

First edition of Mark Twain's What Is Man?

What Is Man?

TWAIN, Mark. [Samuel L. Clemens].


Item Number: 137544

London: Watts & Co, 1910.

First trade edition of this uncommon Twain title. Octavo, original cloth. From the library of leading Twain authority and publisher John Gerber with his bookplate to the pastedown. Gerber served as head of the English Department at the University of Iowa for many years following the end of World War II when American literature was beginning to replace the role of English literature in American schools and colleges. Gerber was instrumental in the publication of a new uniform edition of Mark Twain’s works, which was finally published as the Iowa-California edition of the Works of Mark Twain beginning in 1972, after several years frustrations including challenges from the MLA and United States government. What Is Man? was first published anonymously in a private edition of 250 copies in 1906. This edition, published months before his death, reveals Twain’s authorship for the first time. BAL In very good condition.

"To understand America, read Mark Twain. No matter what new craziness pops up in America, I find it described beforehand by him He was never innocent, at home or abroad" (Garry Wills). "High and fine literature is wine," Twain once wrote, "and mine is only water; but everybody likes water." Raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Samuel Clemens, of Mark Twain, was lauded in his obituary as the "greatest humorist this country has produced." His 1885 novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is often referred to as "The Great American Novel." Written in the form of a Platonic dialogue, What is Man? is considered a crucial exposition of the pessimistic philosophy of Twain's later years.

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