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The War Prayer [Paperback]

By Mark Twain (Author)
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Item Number 161353  
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Item description for The War Prayer by Mark Twain...

The universal themes of a war parable are made more eloquent by accompanying line drawings

Publishers Description

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 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Originally rejected for publication in 1905 as "not quite suited to a woman's magazine," this antiwar parable remained unpublished until 1923, when Twain's literary executor collected it in the volume Europe and Elsewhere.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.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Harper Colophon
Pages   84
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 28, 2001
Publisher   Harper Perennial
ISBN  0060911131  
ISBN13  9780060911133  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mark Twain

Mark Twain Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, led one of the most exciting of literary lives. Raised in the river town of Hannibal, Missouri, Twain had to leave school at age 12 and was successively a journeyman printer, a steamboat pilot, a halfhearted Confederate soldier, and a prospector, miner, and reporter in the western territories. His experiences furnished him with a wide knowledge of humanity, as well as with the perfect grasp of local customs and speech which manifests itself in his writing.

With the publication in 1865 of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Twain gained national attention as a frontier humorist, and the bestselling Innocents Abroad solidified his fame. But it wasn't until Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), that he was recognized by the literary establishment as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce.

Toward the end of his life, plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Twain grew more and more pessimistic--an outlook not alleviated by his natural skepticism and sarcasm. Though his fame continued to widen--Yale & Oxford awarded him honorary degrees--Twain spent his last years in gloom and exasperation, writing fables about "the damned human race."

Mark Twain lived in Hannibal, in the state of Missouri. Mark Twain was born in 1835 and died in 1910.

Mark Twain has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Aladdin Classics
  2. Penguin Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( T ) > Twain, Mark > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( T ) > Twain, Mark > Paperback
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > General
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > United States
8Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > 19th Century
9Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > United States > General
10Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > United States > Twain, Mark
11Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
12Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Short Stories

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Reviews - What do customers think about The War Prayer?

Should be required reading for politicians  May 15, 2008
This short book should be required reading for all politicians. While there may be valid reasons for starting a war, the unintended consequences are not always considered, including the impact on families and the innocent. We should all temper our patriotism with a little dose of reality.
A prayer indeed  Dec 26, 2007
Twain's _War Prayer_ is a classic piece of anti-war literature. Written during the Spanish-American war, the sentiments Twain expresses are still relevent today. As a combat vet, I always struggle with those who invoke the name of religion, morality or righteousness with war. War is obscene - Twain's vivid poem illustrates what that is. The power of Twain's words are supported by the drawings of John Groth, which fit the tone and time of the story.

As a previous reviewer has noted, the printing quality of the book leaves something to be desired; with that said, I strongly recommend this powerful piece.
Victory and Loss  Nov 9, 2007
No other book has ever hit me this hard with its message in so few pages like Twain's The War Prayer. In our troubled world today, this book should be read by everyone. The book portrays the unspoken side of a war prayer, the consequences of victory and conquest. With such "victories" in the battlefield, we ask for much more destruction than we intend to ask for. The drawings here (just look at the cover page) are eloquent as they are haunting and accompany the grimness of Twain's piece absolutely beautifully. A buy you will never forget. After you read it, buy a few more copies, and give this to family and friends.
Pass It On...  May 10, 2007
This short narrative is simple and to read an understand. It gives the dramatic account of a blindly patriotic church service being interrupted by a "messenger of God," who proceeds to reveal the unspoken prayer of the congregation as heard by the ears of the LORD. It is, to put it breifly, a caution against self-centered prayer and/or a reprimand against needless bloodshed. This should be standard reading in schools and churches across the globe, especially here in the good 'ole war-mongering USA.
Buy several NOW  Apr 10, 2007
OK - A note from a middle american man on the War Prayer. This book should be read every morning at schools rather than the pledge of allegiance. It takes the american psyche of war and turns it on its ear, with no need for the author's typical wit. I have bought and given away many copies, but more importantly always have a copy hanging around somewhere in your house where visitors or your kids might come across it. They might pick it up, and to pick it up is the same as to read it for the ten minutes it would take anyone to get through it. If more and more people read this book, our culture could perhaps find a more humane view of what warfare truly is. Are you truly willing to pray that your enemies children will be left wandering, wounded, trying to find enough food to survive? I sure hope I know your answer.

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