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.
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.
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
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
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!
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.
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
Churchill NEVER supported Hitler!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
@antodavHonoring 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?
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?
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.
Why, What, When, Where and How. It's a wonder. I think human err, is to