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POLITICS AND RELIGION ACCORDING TO MARK TWAIN
February 20 : 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
An event every week that begins at 11:00 am on Wednesday, repeating until February 27, 2019
Twain has been lauded as the “greatest humorist this country has produced.” William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.” Twain’s wit and satire will make you laugh as well as provide you with the deep insights of a remarkable man who was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. Lecture One: Mark Twain Politics, Yesterday and Today — This talk will deconstruct the history of today’s political landscape from the point of view of Mark Twain. We will trace Twain’s political evolution from his youth as a poor, rural Anti-bellum southern youth, to his death in 1910 as a rich, globally sophisticated Yankee icon. What changed his perspectives and how did his views compare with national sentiments? What were the macro issues and solutions? What were the long-term consequences? Lecture Two: Mark Twain and Religion — “Often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics, man’s reasoning power is not above the monkey’s,” wrote Mark Twain. In a half-joking response to the banning of Huckleberry Finn, he commented that the Bible was more of a threat to healthy children than any book he would be willing to write. We will follow Twain’s religious beliefs from his Calvinist roots to his ultimate conclusion that God, if he existed, was indistinguishable from the Devil or a Tyrant in his cruelty. Bring your meds to this lecture!