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The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today by Mark…
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The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873)

by Mark Twain, Charles Dudley Warner

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Want to see politicians stealing? Businessmen hustling bad debt? Bankruptcies galore? Twain lived this in the Gilded Age (NOT the golden--only had the sham of glitter). Remind you of today?

The poor had their eyes lit from above (from the tall mansions), trying to make it with one big deal. The rich wereraking it in. The cash cow government lead the country into a new technological age (Railroads), lining politcos pockets. Speculators drove at full speed before any tracks were laid. Note: The only decent people in Twain are women, but only a few qualify. Men are all brick-head ignorant and far beyond hope.
Finally--the book is more narrative than bite, but a good, old-time-scoundrel read. ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Despite the dated language and caricatures, the subtitle "a Tale of Today" still seems true. Greed and avarice still abound (Wolf of Wall Street, anyone?). What little actual legislating that occurs in congress is done with much back room dealing and there are undoubtedly members whose votes are for sale in some fashion. So the mid-nineteenth century doesn't differ much from the early twenty-first. That's the shame of it.

Makes me wonder what sort of tale Twain might spin if he were alive today. ( )
  TerryLewis | Jun 12, 2017 |
1883 First U.K. edition, with a new Preface by Mark Twain written in 1873, the year of the first American edition - it took ten years for this edition to appear. Octavo. pp xxvii, 481, [2] adverts. 212 illustrations. Red pictorial cloth stamped in black, lettered in gilt. A satire on the greed and political corruption in post-Civil War America, in the era now referred to as "the Gilded Age". Twain's collaborator was a neighbor and friend; they were challenged over dinner by their wives to write a novel together, one that was an improvement on the standard fare.
  lazysky | May 3, 2017 |
This sat on my shelf for ages while I was convinced it was non-fiction. It turns out to be a novel, co-written by Twain and Warner. It seems they each wrote whole chapters and the ones by Twain seem to stick out for me, the acerbic wit and satire. On the whole, the satire is the best of it, the plot line gets a bit crazy and there seems to be a cast of thousands. I started reading it during my long wait for jury duty and then it languished a bit so it's hard to say if it was my interest in the story or just events. The politics and crazy land speculation had a familar ring to these days (that was what drove me to read it) Are we living in a new Gilded Age? Just perhaps. And less and less of us are even mildly gilded.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
A free audiobook is available from https://librivox.org/ ( )
  captbirdseye | Mar 3, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Twain, Markprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Warner, Charles Dudleymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
—Seventhly, Before his Voyage, He should make his peace with God, satisfie his Creditors if he be in debt; Pray earnestly to God to prosper him in his Voyage, and to keep him from danger, and, if he be sui juris, he should make his last will, and wisely order all his affairs, since many that go far abroad, return not home. (This good and Christian Counsel is given by Martinus Zeilerus in his Apodemical Canons before his Itinerary of Spain and Portugal.)
        Leigh's Diatribe of Travel, p. 7.
Via, Pecunia! when she's run and gone
And fled, and dead, then will I fetch her again
With aqua vitӕ, out of an old hogshead!
While there are lees of wine, or dregs of beer,
I'll never want her! Coin her out of cobwebs,
Dust, but I'll have her! raise wool upon egg-shells,
Sir, and make grass grow out of marrow-bones,
To make her come!
        Ben Jonson.
—Whan þe borde is thynne, as of seruyse,
  Nought replenesshed with grete diuersite
 Of mete & drinke, good chere may then suffise
  With honest talkyng—
        The Book of Curtesye.
  Mammon. Come on, sir. Now, you set your foot on shore
In Novo Orbe; here's the rich Peru:
And there, within, sir, are the golden mines,
Great Solomon's Ophir!—
        Ben Jonson. The Alchemist.
What ever to say he toke in his entente,
his langage was so fayer & pertynante,
yt semeth vnto manys herying
not only the worde, but veryly the thyng.
        Caxton's Book of Curtesye, l. 340--343 (ed., E. E. Text Society).
—“We have view'd it,
And measur'd it within all, by the scale:
The richest tract of land, love, in the kingdom!
There will be made seventeen or eighteen millions,
Or more, as't may be handled!
        Ben Jonson. The Devil is an Ass.
Dedication
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This book was not written for private circulation among friends; it was not written to cheer and instruct a diseased relative of the author's; it was not thrown off during intervals of wearing labor to amuse an idle hour. It was not written for any of these reasons, and therefore it is submitted without the usual apologies.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014043920X, Paperback)

First published in 1873, The Gilded Age is both a biting satire and a revealing portrait of post-Civil War America-an age of corruption when crooked land speculators, ruthless bankers, and dishonest politicians voraciously took advantage of the nation's peacetime optimism. With his characteristic wit and perception, Mark Twain and his collaborator, Charles Dudley Warner, attack the greed, lust, and naivete of their own time in a work which endures as a valuable social document and one of America's most important satirical novels.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:15 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

First published in 1873, The Gilded Age is both a biting satire and a revealing portrait of post-Civil War America-an age of corruption when crooked land speculators, ruthless bankers, and dishonest politicians voraciously took advantage of the nation's peacetime optimism. With his characteristic wit and perception, Mark Twain and his collaborator, Charles Dudley Warner, attack the greed, lust, and naivete of their own time in a work which endures as a valuable social document and one of America's most important satirical novels.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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