Mark Twain and the Colonel: Samuel L. Clemens, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Arrival of a New Century
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In Mark Twain and the Colonel, Philip McFarland tells the story of the rich years of American history between 1890 and 1910 through the fully engaged involvement of two of its most vital participants.
The narrative unfolds in six sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the United States of the early twentieth century that continues to matter to this day: America as an imperialist nation, America as a continental nation, America as a racial nation, America as a corporate nation, America at home, and America striving for peace.
In this short span of years, the America of the late nineteenth century will move substantially closer to the America we know today, thanks in part to the influence and actions of Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt, two of the most influential figures of the age.
Company, progenitor of a corporation that thrives to this day. The Westinghouse Company got into providing electricity using Tesla’s alternating current, which Thomas Edison opposed on the grounds that the high-tension wires it required were a public hazard. Edison’s own direct current laid claims to being safer. Yet at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, Westinghouse’s alternating current powered the unprecedented display of 92,000 incandescent lamps all simultaneously and safely alight,
Civil War—or of World War I, even then brewing in 1906, as armed rivals met grimly at Algeciras. “Disputants are both seeking righteousness,” Carnegie reminded President Roosevelt; “both feel themselves struggling for what is just. Who is to decide? No one. According to you they must then go to war to decide not what is right but who is strong.” Chapter Forty-Three Late Pleasures How all these topics converge, though! How each interacts with the others, coalescing to form the present
311 “an inimical mimic.” King, Memories, 174. 311 “‘the rage of living.’” Salsbury, Susy and MT, 312. 311 “I hate that name!” King, Memories, 173–74. 311 “creating day or night.” Salsbury, Susy and MT, 312. 312 “whether I am embarrassed.” Ibid., 314. 312 “refreshing little naps.” S. Clemens, Papa, 15. The citation appears in Neider’s introduction, which provides the earliest account of the relationship. See also L. Morris, Gender Play, 11–20, for additional information on Louise
12-30-98 and 1-11-99. 371 “busy night and day.” “Americanism and Imperialism,” in Carnegie, Gospel of Wealth, 169. 372 “distinctively the best.” Quoted in Brands, Reckless Decade, 294. 374 “a war to the death.” To John Hay, 4-2-05; Beale, TR and the Rise, 439–40. The two citations that follow, into 375, are from the same source: 352 (“feel an increasing horror”) and 339 (“rail at the manly virtues,” 9-11-05). 375 “Who is to decide?” Wagenknecht, Seven Worlds, 163; Beale, TR and the Rise,
historian was working on his own third volume of The Winning of the West. He would make grateful use of the professor’s paper, of course with full attribution. “I think,” Roosevelt went on, “you have struck some first class ideas,” putting into shape “a good deal of thought that has been floating around rather loosely.” A decade earlier to the month—almost to the day—of this reply from Sagamore Hill (and did he think of it in dating the letter?), Roosevelt had lived through the appalling ordeal