Author, humorist... economist?

May 30, 2015

 

My classmates at Mark Twain Junior High School in Coney Island, Brooklyn, know the names Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer: their adventures were on all of our required summer reading lists.  Plenty of people know his real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. But it was only a few weeks ago that I learned a name that many MT fans wouldn't recognize:   Charles Dudley Warner. Together the two co-authored the novel "The Gilded Age."  The term was coined to describe the late 19th century period in American history where the economic & societal devastation that followed the Civil War, which was very thinly outlined at its edges by the immense wealth creation of the Industrial Revolution. The title reappears in writings describing ebullient, joyous times of prosperity, which is at odds with Twain's legacy of pessimism.

 

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