Written by Mark Twain during the Philippine-American War in the first decade of the twentieth century, The War Prayer tells of a patriotic church service held to send the town's young men off to war. During the service, a stranger enters and addresses the gathering. He tells the patriotic crowd that their prayers for victory are double-edged-by ...Read MoreWritten by Mark Twain during the Philippine-American War in the first decade of the twentieth century, The War Prayer tells of a patriotic church service held to send the town's young men off to war. During the service, a stranger enters and addresses the gathering. He tells the patriotic crowd that their prayers for victory are double-edged-by praying for victory they are also praying for the destruction of the enemy... for the destruction of human life. Originally rejected for publication in 1905 as "not quite suited to a woman's magazine," this antiwar parable remained unpublished until 1923, when Twain's literary executor collected it in the volume Europe and Elsewhere. Handsomely illustrated by the artist and war correspondent Philip Groth, The War Prayer remains a relevant classic by an American icon.Read Less
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This short prayer/commentary is very powerful! It makes you think twice about the entire concept of war. The words are as relevant today as when Twain wrote the piece.
Sep 21, 2007
the REAL Sam Clemens - a man out of time
I first read this in 1968, after seeing Hal Holbrook perform much of this material in Mark Twain Tonight. For those of you who think of Twain as the grand, avuncular headmaster of American literature: beware. Clemens was a true free thinker - rare at any time in our history - and this vitriolic attack of the Spanish-American war resonated with opponents of the Viet Nam conflict. This gem of a book - which you can easily read in one toilet sitting - will turn your head around.
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