Introduction

The true story of young Twain’s wild and reckless 20s as an Old West newspaperman where he created his infamous persona – all while thoroughly sabotaging the life and political career of his older brother.

The book that made Twain famous was about his Civil War years in the Old West and his “holier-than-thou” brother, the Secretary of Nevada Territory. But now we know that this book “Roughing It” was all lies.

The truth, revealed later in his full autobiography [published 2010] is actually a story of a brutal sibling rivalry cross-cut with a political awakening.

When Sam Clemens became Mark Twain, his transformation from a Confederate deserter into the liberal lion of social-democratic modernity tracks America’s progress into enlightenment. At the same time, it reveals exactly when and how an America, once filled with hope and promise, became an oligarchy of the Gilded Age.