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These twenty-eight short pieces by Twain comment on the human condition. The best to be hoped for, apparently, is that humans can be persuaded to rise above their selfish nature and work for the betterment of the community at large. Generally in his essays, Twain spoke his mind on a variety of public issues and was especially passionate in his anti-imperialist stance.
Riverboat pilot, journalist, failed businessman (several times over): Samuel Clemens -- the man behind the figure of Mark Twain -- led many lives. But it was in his novels and short stories that he created a voice and an outlook on life that will be forever identified with the American character.