Comments about ‘In Our Lovely Deseret: Mark Twain and Winston Churchill: When great men meet’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 9 2013 8:53 a.m. MST

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george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Why, What, When, Where and How. It's a wonder. I think human err, is to assume.

antodav
TAMPA, FL

Mark Twain was also deeply cynical and irreligious and ridiculed the Book of Mormon in a very dismissive and ignorant fashion.

Winston Churchill supported Hitler before he turned against him.

Very peculiar choices of men to honor.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What an excellent article about two great men who influenced millions. I had no idea that they had met. Both men have been heroes to me. Some will ridicule them because they think that those two men were not perfect in every way. I wonder what people would say about each of us if our lives were "open books" on display for all to see? Would we be so quick to find fault when our own faults were so obvious?

Mark Twain taught us that you can't pray a lie. Winston Churchill taught us to never give up. How many of us have ever taught anything of significance?

J.D.
Aurora, CO

@antodav

Honoring these two are a welcome change for DN in my opinion. It has been far too common practice for them to honor men who hide their history and misrepresent the the truth. Is that what you prefer?

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

Enjoyed the story. As to the origin of "Mark Twain" I have read somewhere that I cannot recall at present the eitiology of the pen name may not have originated on the Mississippi river but later on in Twain's days in the West and had to do with his ordering two of his favorite adult beverages in pairs, and announcing it to be added to the bar tab. Either is a good story.

I also think the connection of birthdays is weak. It may be the same date on a calendar but decades apart has little significance unless you believe in astrology.

Men of stature and greatness, yes by all means.

I would like a little documentation of Churchill's alleged support of Hitler by antodav. His comment about PM Atlee's appeasement of Hitler's annexation of part of Chechoslovakia in 1938 indicated he did not approve of appeasement nor Atlee's promise of "Peace in our time". He is alleged to have said that history would judge Atlee harshly, for he (Churchill) would write it.

Oatmeal
Woods Cross, UT

Antodav,

Mark Twain WAS deeply cynical and irreligious AFTER the deaths of his wife and daughter. His brief assessment of the Book of Mormon appears to be sarcasm.

Winston Churchill NEVER supported Hitler.

All human beings are peculiar. But these men are worthy to honor.

Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

Ah Mark Twain, the famous author who called the Book of Mormon "Chloroform in print".
Hey JD, at least try to disguise your attack, good grief.

RockOn
Spanish Fork, UT

Mark Twain and the Book of Mormon and Mormons in general and Brigham Young in specific are NOT obvious. In fact, when Twain was told by his publisher that he needed a new book and thought one about his trip west would be a good subject, Twain wrote to his brother to help him recall the sketchy details. He recalled little of his meeting with Brigham Young or ever reading anything of the Book of Mormon. The guy was a great writer filled with imagination -- never contrained by the truth. He knew Mormons were easy targets so, like any good comedian, he skewered someone else's ox. His words about Mormons were written for entertainment, not as history. He was in it for a good laugh. Anti-Mormons cannot find any solace in Twain's words without being perpetually disengenuous.

RockOn
Spanish Fork, UT

antodav... second correction. Churchill was in no way a supporter of Hitler when Hitler meant anything. In 1926 after Churchill read Mein Kemf -- written by an insurgent Hitler jailed for stirring up trouble against the Weimer Republic -- a left over from the great enemy of Britain in the Great War (hence a short-lived endorsement of the mildest sort)... Churchill immediately saw Hitler has a terrible person and said so publicly in 1926. No one listened. In fact, Churchill began a one man prosecution against Hitler for his inherent anti-semetic ways, his dictatorial tendencies and Hitler's obvious megalomania. His warnings were ridiculed and ignored for 12 years as Hitler built up armaments in direct contradiction to the Treaty of Versaille. Churchill railed against Baldwin and Chamberlain as Hitler broke one treaty after another including the infamous mess at Munich. To cast any aspertions on Churchill for Hitler's advancement is spurious at best. Also Churchill was a full military officer in Cuba, Sudan, India and South Africa but couldn't get the generals to give him duty, so he took the task as a writer, but soon led troops.

RockOn
Spanish Fork, UT

For Strider303... Clement Atlee didn't become prime minister until AFTER WWII although he was named by PM Churchill as his Deputy Prime Minister during the war. I think you were referring to Neville Chamberlain who was the worst of the appeasers although Ramsay MacDonald and Stanley Baldwin were certainly shameful in their appeasement approaches as well. All three fully ignored Winston's appeals to guard against the rising star of German, Hitler, and his thuggish brown shirts.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

Churchill NEVER supported Hitler!

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Winston Churchill was not the first World War II leader to cross paths with Mark Twain. A very young Franklin Roosevelt had the thrill of his life when as a boy he got to meet the author who immortalized boyhood itself in the classic books Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. FDR took the phrase New Deal from a passage in Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

"The perpetuation of Mark Twain's name, birthplace, and the haunts of his youth is very dear to me, especially because I, myself, as a boy- a younger boy than I am now—had the happy privilege of shaking hands with him. That was a day I shall never forget."
- Franklin Roosevelt

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

RockOn.

My apologies, you are correct. Well done. Thank you for the correct name.

When I was a boy I recall seeing the old newsreel of Chamberlain with the piece of paper in his hand declaring "Peace in our time". Had a brain cramp on that one.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Mark Twain's supposed meeting with Brigham Young (Re: "Roughing It"), in which he portrays Brigham’s difficulties in dealing with so many wives is delightful, especially to some of us who have Utah ancestry and know of the challenges that the plural marriage practice brought about. There is nothing insulting about Twain’s imaginary story. It's just a bit of social commentary, and like others of his fictional stories, very entertaining!

And_im_a_mormon
Salt Lake City, UT

One of Twain's quotes about the Book of Mormon - "Chloroform in Print"

“All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the "elect" have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so "slow," so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle — keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate.”

M. Matchette
Syracuse, Utah

Lord Churchill, cousin to FDR through his mother, found it exciting to watch the aerial bombings from roof tops in London. I don't know if Churchill directly supported Hitler, but his extended family members sure did as an historical fact...

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

With all the hardships endured by early Mormons, the present generation shouldn’t be so thin-skinned as a few are when it comes to an outsider’s take on Mormonism. I find Twain’s observations on the Book of Mormon quite perceptive. He actually took the time to read it, whether completely or in part, I can’t say.

His chapter on domestic life in Brigham Young’s uncommonly large household had me in stitches the first time I read it. It’s obviously tongue-in-cheek and a fine example of his talent to spin a yarn. It’s not mean-spirited in the slightest. It’s his signature good-natured ribbing which endeared him to millions of readers of his time and continues to do so today.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Maybe, just maybe, Twain did what many readers of the Book of Mormon do, and that's quit reading when the long quotations from Isaiah appear. Did those chapters put him to sleep?
Twain had his reservations about the Bible as well, and was not above poking fun as in his version of Adam and Eve and his satirical treatment of King Solomon's wisdom in that very entertaining discussion between Huck and Jim about the dividing of a child into halves. His comment about the Book of Mormon as "chloroform in print" is quite funny from a non-believer's standpoint, and even those of us who accept the book as scripture can find ourselves smiling at Twain's clever tongue in cheek.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Maybe, just maybe, Twain did what many readers of the Book of Mormon do, and that's quit reading when the long quotations from Isaiah appear. Did those chapters put him to sleep?
Twain had his reservations about the Bible as well, and was not above poking fun as in his version of Adam and Eve and his satirical treatment of King Solomon's wisdom in that very entertaining discussion between Huck and Jim about the dividing of a child into halves. His comment about the Book of Mormon as "chloroform in print" is quite funny from a non-believer's standpoint, and even those of us who accept the book as scripture can find ourselves smiling at Twain's clever tongue in cheek.

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