Autobiography of Mark Twain : The Complete and Authoritative Edition Volume II, Hardback

Autobiography of Mark Twain : The Complete and Authoritative Edition Volume II Hardback

Edited by Benjamin Griffin, Harriet E. Smith, Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, Sharon K. Goetz, Leslie Diane Myrick

Part of the Mark Twain Papers series

4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Mark Twain's complete, uncensored Autobiography was an instant bestseller when the first volume was published in 2010, on the centennial of the author's death, as he requested.

Published to rave reviews, the Autobiography was hailed as the capstone of Twain's career.

It captures his authentic and unsuppressed voice, speaking clearly from the grave and brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions.

The eagerly-awaited Volume 2 delves deeper into Mark Twain's life, uncovering the many roles he played in his private and public worlds.

Filled with his characteristic blend of humor and ire, the narrative ranges effortlessly across the contemporary scene.

He shares his views on writing and speaking, his preoccupation with money, and his contempt for the politics and politicians of his day.

Affectionate and scathing by turns, his intractable curiosity and candor are everywhere on view.

Editors: Benjamin Griffin and Harriet E. Smith Associate Editors: Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, Sharon K. Goetz and Leslie Diane Myrick


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 776 pages, 37 b/w photographs
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: literary
  • ISBN: 9780520272781



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Wow. Many of Twain's observations, particularly about politics and human nature, still hold true today. His sense of humor is even more playful, satirical, and sarcastic than the books he published during his lifetime because he is free to say anything he likes about anyone, knowing his words won't be published until 100 years after his death. (And kudos to the publishing world for respecting his wishes!)Anxiously awaiting volume 3.

Review by

More stream of consciousness than standard autobiography, this was dictated by Twain a few years before he died. It includes his reaction to news items of the day, memories of his adventures and of the people he had known, philosophical musings, and excerpts from the biography his young daughter worked on for a few years. Twain is blunt and humorous, though some of his musings would not fit well in the political correctness of our time. Still, there is nothing here that is unkind, and Twain is as hard on himself as on nearly anyone else (with the possible exception of a couple of politicians). Overall a good read, prepare to laugh, and be forewarned: Twain planned for this to not be published until 100 years after his death, so he took off the gloves on a couple of things he was usually a bit gentler on, such as religion. His description of the Old Testament God could have been written by Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. Reading Twain, in fact, is like reading Hitchens, Vonnegut, Will Rogers, and James Thurber all rolled into one.

Review by

This is not as bad as volume one, in that less of the book is taken up by idiots from the literary establishment. Twain still refuses to sit down and write an autobiography; his conceit is that he will spend several sessions dictating this garbage and he will stop when he feels like it and discuss something that just occurs to him. The saving grace is that Mark Twain is someone who has worthwhile ideas; his dissection of Bret Harte and Stanford White are wonderful, as is his commentary on churches of anykind. The idea is that this book would not get published until Twain had been dead 100 years, but there is not much commentary that he should worry about.