Autobiography of Mark Twain cover imageIn this new UC Press Podcast, Harriet Smith, editor of the Autobiography of Mark Twain, explains the reasoning behind Mark Twain’s famous 100-year embargo, a decision Smith calls “a great marketing strategy.” Clemens wouldn’t risk embarrassing others or ostracizing himself by publishing his autobiography while he was still around to see it. Even so, he had difficulty getting some of his most private moments on paper, and grappled with including “1500 or 2000 incidents which I am ashamed of.” Though he tried to get the whole truth across in the text, ultimately he decided, “As to veracity, it was a failure. No man ever told the truth about himself because no man ever could.”

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