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Grant and Twain: The Story of a Friendship That Changed America

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the spring of 1884 Ulysses S. Grant heeded the advice of Mark Twain and finally agreed to write his memoirs. Little did Grant or Twain realize that this seemingly straightforward decision would profoundly alter not only both their lives but the course of American literature. Over the next fifteen months, as the two men became close friends and intimate collaborators, Grant raced against the spread of cancer to compose a triumphant account of his life and times--while Twain struggled to complete and publish his greatest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In this deeply moving and meticulously researched book, veteran writer Mark Perry reconstructs the heady months when Grant and Twain inspired and cajoled each other to create two quintessentially American masterpieces.

In a bold and colorful narrative, Perry recounts the early careers of these two giants, traces their quest for fame and elusive fortunes, and then follows the series of events that brought them together as friends. The reason Grant let Twain talk him into writing his memoirs was simple: He was bankrupt and needed the money. Twain promised Grant princely returns in exchange for the right to edit and publish the book--and though the writer's own finances were tottering, he kept his word to the general and his family.

Mortally ill and battling debts, magazine editors, and a constant crush of reporters, Grant fought bravely to get the story of his life and his Civil War victories down on paper. Twain, meanwhile, staked all his hopes, both financial and literary, on the tale of a ragged boy and a runaway slave that he had been unable to finish for decades. As Perry delves into the story of the men's deepeningfriendship and mutual influence, he arrives at the startling discovery of the true model for the character of Huckleberry Finn.

With a cast of fascinating characters, including General William T. Sherman, William Dean Howells, William Henry Vanderbilt, and Abraham Lincoln, Perry's narrative takes in the whole sweep of a glittering, unscrupulous age. A story of friendship and history, inspiration and desperation, genius and ruin, Grant and Twain captures a pivotal moment in the lives of two towering Americans and the age they epitomized.

In this lovely surprise of a book, Mark Perry uncovers a crucial sliver of American literary and cultural history: the little-known connection between Grant and Twain, who, in the twilight of the old general's life, formed a friendship that is both interesting and important.

JON MEACHAM, AUTHOR OF FRANKLIN AND WINSTON

The authors of the greatest American novel and of our greatest military memoirs did much to inspire each other to create their masterpieces. Suffering from terminal cancer, 'Sam' Grant worked against a deadline of death to complete his memoirs while Sam Clemens stood at his side as editor and publisher even as Huckleberry Finn was entering the world. This gripping account of a remarkable partnership and friendship is a book that everyone interested in Twain and Grant will want to read.

JAMES M. McPHERSON, AUTHOR OF BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM, WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

The slender book by Mark Perry tells a large tale about two misfits turned American giants turned friends and grand collaborators. Grant and Twain is a charming and evocative story.

JAY WINIK, AUTHOR OF APRIL 1865: THE MONTH THAT SAVEDAMERICA

&

Synopsis:

In this lovely surprise of a book, Mark Perry uncovers a crucial sliver of American literary and cultural history: the little-known connection between Grant and Twain, who, in the twilight of the old general's life, formed a friendship that is both interesting and important.

--JON MEACHAM, author of Franklin and Winston

The authors of the greatest American novel and of our greatest military memoirs did much to inspire each other to create their masterpieces. Suffering from terminal cancer, 'Sam' Grant worked against a deadline of death to complete his memoirs while Sam Clemens stood at his side as editor and publisher even as Huckleberry Finn was entering the world. This gripping account of a remarkable partnership and friendship is a book that everyone interested in Twain and Grant will want to read.

--JAMES M. MCPHERSON, author Battle Cry of Freedom, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

The slender book by Mark Perry tells a large tale about two misfits turned American giants turned friends and grand collaborators. Grant and Twain is a charming and evocative story.

--JAY WINIK, author of April 1865: The Month That Saved America

In this fascinating story, Mark Perry details the friendship that grew between two American titans, Ulysses S. Grant and Mark Twain. Exploring how each man dealt with his America, particularly the questions of slavery and race, Perry illuminates not only their views, but also the America of their time. Moreover, he highlights the impact each of these remarkable individuals had on the other, especially on their marvelous and enduring books, American classics both, Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

--WILLIAM J. COOPER, award-winning author of Jefferson Davis, American

When a great author convinced a great soldier to write his memoirs the outcome was an unlikely friendship and an American literary masterpiece. Mark Perry engagingly intertwines the lives of two near opposites, Mark Twain and Ulysses S. Grant, revealing how in a stunning burst of creativity the two friends produced works of genius that would lead America to find its distinctive literary voice. Discovering their little-known association is like discovering literary, biographical and historic gold.

--JOSEPH E. PERSICO, author of Roosevelt's Secret War

A great many biographies of Ulysses S. Grant have been written, and Mark Twain's life is so well-chronicled that it has reached mythological status in the general culture but] Perry has performed the amazing feat of finding a gap in the stories of both American heroes. We owe Mark Perry a debt of gratitudefor presenting to us the dignity and humanity of Mark Twain and Ulysses S.Grant and their joint contribution to American history and letters. - The Houston Chronicle

The story of the frienship and of how Twain aided Grant in writing and publishing is highly absorbing. -Chicago Sun-Times

Between May 1884 and July 1885, an unlikely friendship developed between two of America's most recognized personalities. Perry's juxtaposition of the two writers' careers offer s] a glimpse into the d

Synopsis:

In the spring of 1884 Ulysses S. Grant heeded the advice of Mark Twain and finally agreed to write his memoirs. Little did Grant or Twain realize that this seemingly straightforward decision would profoundly alter not only both their lives but the course of American literature. Over the next fifteen months, as the two men became close friends and intimate collaborators, Grant raced against the spread of cancer to compose a triumphant account of his life and timeswhile Twain struggled to complete and publish his greatest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.In this deeply moving and meticulously researched book, veteran writer Mark Perry reconstructs the heady months when Grant and Twain inspired and cajoled each other to create two quintessentially American masterpieces. In a bold and colorful narrative, Perry recounts the early careers of these two giants, traces their quest for fame and elusive fortunes, and then follows the series of events that brought them together as friends. The reason Grant let Twain talk him into writing his memoirs was simple: He was bankrupt and needed the money. Twain promised Grant princely returns in exchange for the right to edit and publish the bookand though the writer's own finances were tottering, he kept his word to the general and his family. Mortally ill and battling debts, magazine editors, and a constant crush of reporters, Grant fought bravely to get the story of his life and his Civil War victories down on paper. Twain, meanwhile, staked all his hopes, both financial and literary, on the tale of a ragged boy and a runaway slave that he had been unable to finish for decades. As Perry delves into the story of the men's deepening friendship and mutual influence, he arrives at the startling discovery of the true model for the character of Huckleberry Finn. With a cast of fascinating characters, including General William T. Sherman, William Dean Howells, William Henry Vanderbilt, and Abraham Lincoln, Perry's narrative takes in the whole sweep of a glittering, unscrupulous age. A story of friendship and history, inspiration and desperation, genius and ruin, Grant and Twain captures a pivotal moment in the lives of two towering Americans and the age they epitomized.

About the Author

MARK PERRY, writer, reporter, and foreign policy analyst, has published articles in dozens of magazines and newspapers, including The Nation, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, and New York Newsday. His critically acclaimed books include Four Stars: The Inside Story of the Forty-Year Battle Between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America’s Civilian Leaders; Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA; Fire in Zion: The Israeli-Palestinian Search for Peace; and Lift Up Thy Voice: The Grimke Family’s Journey from Slaveholders to Civil Rights Leaders. Perry lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Table of Contents

"He fights" — Grant and Twain: a chronology — 1. "A man with fire" — 2. "A wounded lion" — 3. "The small room at the head of the stairs" — 4. "Turn him loose!" — 5. "They have expelled Huck" — 6. "He was just a man" — 7. "The composition is entirely my own" — 8. "The me in me" — "Many a deep remorse".

Product Details

ISBN:
9781588363886
Subtitle:
The Story of a Friendship That Changed America
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Perry, Mark
Author:
Mark Perry
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography-Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
History-United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
History : United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Authors, American
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Race relations in literature
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
2004
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
294

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Racism and Ethnic Conflict
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Grant and Twain: The Story of a Friendship That Changed America
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 294 pages Random House - English 9781588363886 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this lovely surprise of a book, Mark Perry uncovers a crucial sliver of American literary and cultural history: the little-known connection between Grant and Twain, who, in the twilight of the old general's life, formed a friendship that is both interesting and important.

--JON MEACHAM, author of Franklin and Winston

The authors of the greatest American novel and of our greatest military memoirs did much to inspire each other to create their masterpieces. Suffering from terminal cancer, 'Sam' Grant worked against a deadline of death to complete his memoirs while Sam Clemens stood at his side as editor and publisher even as Huckleberry Finn was entering the world. This gripping account of a remarkable partnership and friendship is a book that everyone interested in Twain and Grant will want to read.

--JAMES M. MCPHERSON, author Battle Cry of Freedom, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

The slender book by Mark Perry tells a large tale about two misfits turned American giants turned friends and grand collaborators. Grant and Twain is a charming and evocative story.

--JAY WINIK, author of April 1865: The Month That Saved America

In this fascinating story, Mark Perry details the friendship that grew between two American titans, Ulysses S. Grant and Mark Twain. Exploring how each man dealt with his America, particularly the questions of slavery and race, Perry illuminates not only their views, but also the America of their time. Moreover, he highlights the impact each of these remarkable individuals had on the other, especially on their marvelous and enduring books, American classics both, Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

--WILLIAM J. COOPER, award-winning author of Jefferson Davis, American

When a great author convinced a great soldier to write his memoirs the outcome was an unlikely friendship and an American literary masterpiece. Mark Perry engagingly intertwines the lives of two near opposites, Mark Twain and Ulysses S. Grant, revealing how in a stunning burst of creativity the two friends produced works of genius that would lead America to find its distinctive literary voice. Discovering their little-known association is like discovering literary, biographical and historic gold.

--JOSEPH E. PERSICO, author of Roosevelt's Secret War

A great many biographies of Ulysses S. Grant have been written, and Mark Twain's life is so well-chronicled that it has reached mythological status in the general culture but] Perry has performed the amazing feat of finding a gap in the stories of both American heroes. We owe Mark Perry a debt of gratitudefor presenting to us the dignity and humanity of Mark Twain and Ulysses S.Grant and their joint contribution to American history and letters. - The Houston Chronicle

The story of the frienship and of how Twain aided Grant in writing and publishing is highly absorbing. -Chicago Sun-Times

Between May 1884 and July 1885, an unlikely friendship developed between two of America's most recognized personalities. Perry's juxtaposition of the two writers' careers offer s] a glimpse into the d

"Synopsis" by , In the spring of 1884 Ulysses S. Grant heeded the advice of Mark Twain and finally agreed to write his memoirs. Little did Grant or Twain realize that this seemingly straightforward decision would profoundly alter not only both their lives but the course of American literature. Over the next fifteen months, as the two men became close friends and intimate collaborators, Grant raced against the spread of cancer to compose a triumphant account of his life and timeswhile Twain struggled to complete and publish his greatest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.In this deeply moving and meticulously researched book, veteran writer Mark Perry reconstructs the heady months when Grant and Twain inspired and cajoled each other to create two quintessentially American masterpieces. In a bold and colorful narrative, Perry recounts the early careers of these two giants, traces their quest for fame and elusive fortunes, and then follows the series of events that brought them together as friends. The reason Grant let Twain talk him into writing his memoirs was simple: He was bankrupt and needed the money. Twain promised Grant princely returns in exchange for the right to edit and publish the bookand though the writer's own finances were tottering, he kept his word to the general and his family. Mortally ill and battling debts, magazine editors, and a constant crush of reporters, Grant fought bravely to get the story of his life and his Civil War victories down on paper. Twain, meanwhile, staked all his hopes, both financial and literary, on the tale of a ragged boy and a runaway slave that he had been unable to finish for decades. As Perry delves into the story of the men's deepening friendship and mutual influence, he arrives at the startling discovery of the true model for the character of Huckleberry Finn. With a cast of fascinating characters, including General William T. Sherman, William Dean Howells, William Henry Vanderbilt, and Abraham Lincoln, Perry's narrative takes in the whole sweep of a glittering, unscrupulous age. A story of friendship and history, inspiration and desperation, genius and ruin, Grant and Twain captures a pivotal moment in the lives of two towering Americans and the age they epitomized.
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