October 8, 2014 (REVISED February 12, 2015) Author's New Volume Provides View of Mark Twain's Many Roles

Library of Congress Collections Are Basis for “Mark Twain’s America”

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

Addendum Feb. 12, 2015: The Library of Congress has prepared an errata sheet pertaining to the publication "Mark Twain's America." It is accessible here.
Addendum Dec. 5, 2014: The Library of Congress has determined and regrets that our regular and rigorous review processes were not followed in the editing of the recent publication “Mark Twain's America.” We are moving to correct resulting problems by working with both the author and editor to conduct a full cover-to-cover review of the book. Any errors or omissions discovered or otherwise brought to our attention will be corrected in any forthcoming editions.

Everyone knows Mark Twain as the author of such literary classics as “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” but he was also a riverboat pilot, gold prospector, political pundit, satirist, journalist and America’s first major celebrity author.

“Mark Twain’s America: A Celebration in Words and Images” (Little, Brown and Company; 2014) provides readers with a perspective on this extraordinary man who remains as relevant today as he was during his lifetime (1835-1910). Harry Katz will discuss and sign his new book, co-authored with the Library of Congress, on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at noon in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event, co-sponsored by the Library’s Center for the Book and the Publishing Office, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

“Mark Twain’s America” focuses on the years 1850-1910 and includes many reproductions of Twain-related artifacts from the Library’s unsurpassed collections of rare book illustrations, letters, journals, photographs, prints, caricatures and more.

According to the preface by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, “Other books on Twain have used materials from the Library of Congress, but none has reached so deeply into our collections to provide a portrait of the artist and the country that inspired him.”

Katz is a former head curator in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. His other books include “Civil War Sketchbook,” “Baseball Americana” and “Herblock.”

"Mark Twain’s America," a 256-page hardcover book, with 300 color and black-and-white images, is available for $40 in bookstores nationwide and in the Library of Congress Shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., 20540-4985. Credit-card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or www.loc.gov/shop/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its website at www.loc.gov.

The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.


PR 14-179
ISSN 0731-3527