Thursday 10 July 2008

News: Mark Twain, Time Magazine

Mark Twain is featured on the cover of this week's Time magazine, the annual Making of America issue. In the words of editor Richard Stengel:
We chose him - after a succession of Presidents: Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Kennedy, as well as explorers Lewis and Clark and inventor Ben Franklin - because he represents a vital tradition in American politics and culture: the comedic commentator on serious matters, the funnyman as our collective conscience who can utter uncomfortable truths that more solemn critics evade. In an election year when so many Americans are getting their news from nontraditional sources, Twain is the godfather of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as well as the comic voices who influenced them, from Lenny Bruce to Richard Pryor to Kurt Vonnegut. And Twain, with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, created the literary dna that helped shape race relations in America over the past century.
Inside, Richard Lacayo profiles "The Seriously Funny Man"; Roy Blount Jr. examines "Mark Twain: Our Original Superstar"; Stephen L. Carter considers the racial dimensions of Twain's work in "Getting Past Black and White"; Jackson follows Twain's travels in "Man of the World"; and there's a series of portraits here.

Don't rush out to your local newsagents, however - this is the US edition only.

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