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Huck Finn’s America: Mark Twain and the Era That Shaped His Masterpiece

By Andrew Levy

Huck Finn’s America: Mark Twain and the Era That Shaped His Masterpiece

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Started reading:
12 March 2015
Finished reading:
Not yet finished.

Review

You might think there was nothing new to be said about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. And you would be mistaken. What Andrew Levy has done here inverts, or at least tilts, the conventional wisdom about Huck and Tom and Jim, drawing from news reports of the time, from the 19th-century history of minstrelsy, and from Mark Twain’s ill-fated tour with George Washington Cable. Those who have seen the novel as a mere adventure story, or as nothing more than grotesque caricature, may be surprised to hear that Twain intended both of those interpretations — and more. And those who object to it on “moral” or linguistic grounds will find those objections refuted.