A Film Directed By Ken Burns
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ORIGINAL BROADCAST: Mondays, 4/12 and 4/19 at 9:00 p.m.
Samuel Clemens rose from a hardscrabble boyhood in the backwoods of Missouri to become, as Mark Twain, America’s best-known and best-loved author. Considered in his time the funniest man on earth, Twain was also an unflinching critic of human nature who used his humor to attack hypocrisy, greed and racism. He created some of the world’s most memorable characters as well as its most quoted sayings. And, in his often-misunderstood novel Huckleberry Finn, he shared with the world the masterpiece that Ernest Hemingway would call the true beginning of American literature.
Mark Twain tells the story of the writer’s extraordinary life – full of rollicking adventure, stupendous success and crushing defeat, hilarious comedy and almost unbearable tragedy. By the end, the film helps us to see how Twain could claim with some justification, “I am not an American, I am the American.”