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This classic study of the influence of "the Gilded Age" on a major American talent, first published in 1920 and reprinted here in the revised and amplified edition of 1933, has remained the authoritative interpretation of Mark Twain's creative work. Mr. Brooks' critical point of view centers on the conflict between prudence and the creative spirit in American culture and on the effect this conflict has upon the writer. A challenge to previous works on Mark Twain, Mr Brooks' study has served as a point of departure for much that has been written since, and remains a center of controversy for students of American culture.