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On the Damned Human Race

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  170 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Magnificent collection of Mark Twain's topical writings, mainly and most eloquently concerned with the themes of social justice, the American Civilization
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published January 1st 1962 by Hill Wang
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Lucy
Jan 06, 2011 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle--be Thou near them! With them--in spirit--we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes w ...more
John
Oct 07, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
A series of letters, essays, and rants from his autobiography about the Boer War, King Leopold's bloody rule of the Congo, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine insurrection, slavery in various forms, the British Empire, Russia, England, lynching, and the Boxer Rebellion in China.

Also, he discusses the causes of indifference, racism, conformity, and moral cowardice. Twain, however, admits sharing many of the weaknesses of the human race.

Most of these events are not common knowledge, at least
...more
Mark
Feb 27, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
Mark Twain is one of the few heroes that I have. In this not-so popular Twain book, he is in top form. No one is spared the rod. Starting with the human race in general, he focuses on the United States, on the Jews, on the white race, and on Russia to name a few. Twain's talent lies in his ability to joke his way through some serious issues (as G. Bernard Shaw comments on the back cover of the book) and he does a superb job in this collection of iconoclastic essays.
Bethany
Aug 02, 2011 Bethany rated it really liked it
I always appreciate Mark Twain's work, and this collection was interesting too. If you like any of his observations of people, you'll enjoy this one too though it is a little darker than some of his other work.
Christopher Roth
Brilliant. Incandescent. Reads like something written today about what happened in the news yesterday. No one in American letters had the same combination of scorching wit and deep unwavering moral clarity. He had the loudest and most unerring bullshit detector in history; he was ALLERGIC to bullshit, and his allergic symptom was instantaneous rage and brilliance. He grew up amid the most brutal violence and hypocrisy and superstition, but through sheer humanity and intelligence he managed to di ...more
Tony duncan
May 07, 2008 Tony duncan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: twain fan historian americana
Shelves: literature, humor
What can I say. this is brilliant.

Mark Twain at his most acerbic cynical hysterical self.

Little gems, like Jews "too were part of the human race, and worse he could say about no man)

A series of unconnected pieces that twain wrote about American and he world and his view of humanity form the 1860's through his death. I n spite of 8 years of Bush it gives some hope that there has been progress
Eric
Sep 23, 2014 Eric rated it it was amazing
Oh the nature of man. What a sad state of consciousness we have been reminded of by Mr. Twain. But most will continue in its fallacy. And sadly we will continue as the "Lower Animal" status explained in this essay. The twisted "Moral Sense" described by Twain must stop and be turned to its proper form. Can man do it?
Robin
Sep 05, 2013 Robin rated it really liked it
I would've enjoyed this more if the editor's commentary in this particular edition had been confined to a specific area of the book rather than being so heavily interspersed through Twain's writing.
Nicole
Aug 14, 2012 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Only got through about three of the essays. Maybe I'd be more interested if I had a better grounding in the history of the time...but I didn't much like Twain's style here either.
Chambers Stevens
Jul 30, 2013 Chambers Stevens rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The Dark side of Twain.
Anita
Jan 28, 2014 Anita rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit-252
If Twain thought this of man's state then, I can't imagine what he would have to say now.
Jim Aker
Dec 08, 2010 Jim Aker rated it it was amazing
This was a fine read. The editor's notes were somtimes a little disruptive, but on the whole it was an outstanding compilation of essays from many unpublished sources marking Twain's contempt for the mendacity and hypocrisy of the race of mankind in general. It is a tour of Twain's acrid wit and laser like insight on the human condition and its foibles.
Chris
Jul 24, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read this, but I remember enjoying it. The other thing I remember is that some of the situations/events/people that Twain discusses are not well known to people of today. In reading this book you can get a good feel for Twain's opinion on things.
Matt Knoegel
Jan 15, 2014 Matt Knoegel rated it it was amazing
Awesome
Dave Peticolas
Oct 08, 2014 Dave Peticolas rated it really liked it

A collection of essays by the American master. Twain's brilliant satire and his empathy for human suffering are evident throughout.

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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also work
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“Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns, he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man, with his mouth.” 2 likes
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