Mark Twain vs. Tom Sawyer

The Missouri native fought briefly for the Confederacy but idolized U.S. Grant for preserving the Union (he eventually published the statesman‘sbest-selling memoirs); wrote in favor of rights for African Americans but was fond of telling racist jokes (and co-authored with Bret Harte the grotesquely anti-Chinese play Ah Sin); assailed the Gilded Age yet formed a close personal and professional relationship with the robber baron Henry Rogers; lampooned con men and scam artists yet went broke by investing in crackpot inventions and get-rich-quick schemes; and so on. —Nick Gillespie reviews Ron Powers’ Mark Twain: A LifeMark Twain vs. Tom Sawyer (Reason)