Zwonitzer, Mark. The Statesman and the Storyteller
Zwonitzer, Mark. THE STATESMAN AND THE STORYTELLER: JOHN HAY, MARK TWAIN, AND THE RISE OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM. Chapel Hill: 2016. 1st Ed., 583p., illustrations.
In a dual biography covering the last ten years of the lives of friends and contemporaries, writer Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) and statesman John Hay (who served as secretary of state under presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt), The Statesman and the Storyteller not only provides an intimate look into the daily lives of these men but also creates an elucidating portrait of the United States on the verge of emerging as a world power.
And just as the narrative details the wisdom, and the occasional missteps, of two great men during a tumultuous time, it also penetrates the seat of power in Washington as the nation strove to make itself known internationally–and in the process committed acts antithetical to America’s professed ideals and promises.
The country’s most significant move in this time was to go to war with Spain and to eventually wrest control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. In what has to be viewed as one of the most shameful periods in American political history, Filipinos who believed they had been promised independence were instead told they were incapable of self-government and then violently subdued in a war that featured torture and execution of native soldiers and civilians. The United States also used its growing military and political might to grab the entirety of the Hawaiian Islands and a large section of Panama.
As secretary of state during this time, Hay, though a charitable man, was nonetheless complicit in these misdeeds. Clemens, a staunch critic of his country’s imperialistic actions, was forced by his own financial and family needs to temper his remarks. Nearing the end of their long and remarkable lives, both men found themselves struggling to maintain their personal integrity while remaining celebrated and esteemed public figures.
Written with a keen eye–Mark Zwonitzer is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker–and informed by the author’s deep understanding of the patterns of history, The Statesman and the Storyteller has the compelling pace of a novel, the epic sweep of historical writing at its best, and, in capturing the essence of the lives of Hay and Twain, the humanity and nuance of masterful biography.
You may also like…
Clemens, Samuel & Twain, Mark. Both Autographs & Scarce Carte
Both Signatures on One Sheet-Hard to Find!READ MORE $1,850.00 reserve this item
Hay, John. Printed Poem, Signed
Hay, John. EUTHANASIA. Printed Poem, Signed. NP: n.d. 1p., 4to. A highly unusual, beautifully printed poem by the class (1858) poet of Brown University, dealing with a delicate subject and showing the early influence of Edgar Allan Poe on the literary-minded Hay. The personal secretary of Abraham Lincoln in the White House, Hay, … Continue reading Hay, John. Printed Poem, Signed$875.00 buy this item
Clemens, Samuel. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Signed
Clemens, Samuel L. (“Mark Twain”; 1835-1910; American humorist, Author). THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER. NY: Harper & Bros., (1903). 328p. Boldly Signed on inside front board. A desirable title for “Twain” to sign. Very good; gilt on sp. and ft. bd. quite good; small stain touches “M” of autograph; front guard cracked, but holding; lt. … Continue reading Clemens, Samuel. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Signed$4,250.00 reserve this item
Hay, John. Document Signed
Hay, John (Secretary and Biographer of Abraham Lincoln; Diplomat and Secretary of State) Autograph document, signed, “John Hay / Exec. Mansion”. Washington: 6 January 1864. On War Department form; 1p., 12mo. In a handwritten military telegram from the White House at 6.35 pm, Hay requests information relating to the departure of two Union transports from … Continue reading Hay, John. Document Signed$2,500.00 reserve this item