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Series

University of Baltimore Law

Civil Rights and Discrimination

1998

Mark Twain

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Twain's Admiration Of Jews Conflicted His Article Of 100 Years Ago Seems Less Flattering Today, Kenneth Lasson Mar 1998

Twain's Admiration Of Jews Conflicted His Article Of 100 Years Ago Seems Less Flattering Today, Kenneth Lasson

All Faculty Scholarship

It's been exactly a hundred years since Mark Twain first revealed himself as an unmitigated admirer of Jewish people. "A marvelous race, by long odds the most marvelous that the world has produced, I suppose." he wrote in "Concerning the Jews," published in March of 1898 by Harper's magazine.

How different after all was Twain from H.L. Mencken, who (after the posthumous publication of his diaries) was attacked as an anti-Semite? As literary critic Joseph Epstein has pointed out, Mencken talked about Jews the way they talked about themselves: "But H.L. Mencken was no anti-Semite. For ...