"We are all alike, on the inside."- Mark Twain
"All modern American literature," said Ernest Hemingway, "comes from one book by Mark Twain called 'Huckleberry Finn.'"
Many Americans know Twain as the author of "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn," books they think of as belonging only in the children's sections of libraries.
But few know the private tragedies that haunted Twain, or that he was one of the fiercest advocates for progressive social causes like civil rights for African-Americans and voting rights for women.
Mark Twain developed his convictions slowly, over a lifetime, very much like America itself did.
Within your hands is a glimpse into the life, mind, soul, and "truth" of this cherished American icon.
This uncensored autobiography is not only a legacy he left behind, but also a gift to all.
Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835 in Florida, Missouri, Twain wrote prolifically, publishing novels, travelogues, newspaper articles, short stories, and political pamphlets. His best-known works are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885).
Written while America was still recovering from the Civil War and adjusting to the abolition of slavery, Twain's two best-known Mississippi River adventure tales also measure the depth of America's new economic and social realities.
His most personal and insightful writing came when he created his, "Final (and Right) Plan"-a free-flowing biography of the thoughts and interests he had toward the end of his life as he spoke his "whole frank mind". Along with the plan, came the instruction that the enclosed autobiography writings not be published in book form until 100 years after his death.
Now, 100 years after his death, we do just that, in honor of the life and writings of Mark Twain-to reacquaint ourselves with the wit, wisdom, and ideals of this legendary American icon.