by Twain, Mark - - Clemens, Samuel
- pub. Signet Classic (Penguin Group), NY - 1987 (orig copyright 1872) isbn 0-451-52407-1 (original NAL (New Amer Library) version 1980) - - Contents p. vii-xviii - - forward by Leonard Kriegel p. xix-xxvi - - Appendix A. Brief Sketch of Mormon History p. 423-427 - - Apendix B. The Mountain Meadows Massacre p. 428-432 - - Appendix C. Concerning a frightful Assassination that was never consumated p. 432-446 - - bibliography p. 447-448 - - total length - 448 p.
This is the more or less autobiographical story of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twains) life beginning in July 1861, when he went west to the Nevada territory as a helper to his brother, who was appointed Secretary of the Nevada Territory, centered in Carson City. It continues through his time in San Francisco and his sojourn in Hawaii as a corresponded.
The first part involves his trip with his brother up the Missouri River to St. Joseph, Missouri and from there by stagecoach all the way to Carson City, Nevada Territory. The description of the trip is colorful. They stopped for a few days at Salt Lake City and learned about the Mormon way of life, even interviewing Joseph Smith.
In Nevada Twain got ~silver fever~ and did some mining. There is rich description of the mining life. He also did some newspaper work and was appalled at the level of violence there.
He moved to San Francisco, California and did some newspaper work as well as spent some time unemployed and living on short rations.
Later the Enterprise, a San Francisco newspaper, sent him to be their correspondent in Hawaii. The voyage to Hawaii on the propeller ship Ajax is well described.
The last part of the book describes Hawaii as he found it. Very interesting, as it was then operating as a kingdom under their own rule, but under western, mostly American, influence.
The last part, the appendices, flesh out some of Samuel Clemens experiences and thoughts from the first part of the book.
A very interesting read. Entertaining in the first part, and enlightening toward the end. ~ 2015-06-11 ~
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