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Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn: The NewSouth Edition Paperback – February 1, 2011

2.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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About the Author

Dr. Alan Gribben cofounded the Mark Twain Circle of America, compiled Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction, and recently coedited Mark Twain on the Move: A Travel Reader. Gribben has written numerous essays about Mark Twain's life and image. He teaches on the English faculty of Auburn University at Montgomery.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: NewSouth Books; Newsouth ed. edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588382672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588382672
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,358,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Length: 4:39 Mins
Open Letter to NewSouth Books
In regards to censoring a Mark Twain classic

January 5, 2010

Dear Randall Williams and Suzanne La Rosa, co-owners of NewSouth Books;

Censorship in any form, however benign in appearance, however easier on the ears and eyes, however sincere in intention - violates the natural endowment of free expression. Your publication of Mark Twain's classic in censored form will send the wrong signals to the publishing industry, the wrong message to young readers in public schools. Enlightened minds are not nourished by Orwellian safeguards.

On your website you state: "A new edition of Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, forthcoming from NewSouth Books in mid-February, does more than unite the companion boy books in one volume, as the author had intended."

Let's examine the last part of your proclamation - "as the author had intended." As a Mark Twain enthusiast, I highly doubt he would have intended for you to take it upon yourselves to censor his work. True, he had intended to publish the two stories in one volume. But this doesn't grant you the moral authority to step in and replace 'the N-word' with 'slave' (including their plural companions). In effect, you're claiming he would have intended for you to sanitize racial slurs on behalf of two ethnic groups so that you could publish his two stories in one volume.

Secondly, making use of Twain scholar, Dr. Alan Gribben, and his "preemptive censorship" doctrine doesn't excuse yourselves from the fact that you and your publishing company have now embarked on your own rafting adventure down the Mighty Mississippi of Censorship. According to Dr.
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Let's get one thing straight... this Gribben-NewSouth edition exists for one and one purpose only: to make those parties money. This is not about censorship or education or sensitivity or any such weighty issues, either noble or misguided. It's about profiteering. It's about a publisher and an aging scholar who realized they can whip out an expurgated edition of Twain's work to sell to grade schools wary of controversial language... and no one, dead or alive, can stop them.

I have no problem with a teacher who wants to introduce younger students to a classic work, and chooses to skip age-inappropriate passages. I also have no problem with a commercial publisher who modifies a public domain work to suit such a purpose -- provided they clearly brand the product as an ADAPTATION of an author's original. Gribben and NewSouth did not do that. They are marketing this edition as the work of Mark Twain (note how they chose to title this beginning with the author's name), and it simply is not. What's at stake here is the integrity of our literary heritage when any yahoo can grab a classic text off Project Gutenberg, do a find-and-replace, and sell that without disclosure -- introducing alternate versions to the public, undermining the authenticity of the original. This is exactly what Gribben and NewSouth, a scholar and a publisher who ought to know better, are doing here. And they're doing it for one and one reason only: money.

You want to teach Huck Finn to 4th graders and skip over the n-word? Fine. Send me an e-mail and I'll print you out an edited edition for free... with a big "This version has been modified from the original" on the cover and in the footer of every page. Don't financially reward Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books for grave-robbing Mark Twain's work and pretending it was for your protection.

- mm
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I see a lot of support for this edition of these books mostly because it is helpful for educational purposes. I cannot help but question the quality of an education where in the educator is scared of history and language. I read that Dr. Gribben, a self prclaimed Twain scholar, was to nervous or uncomfortable to read allowed the word "n*****" (amazon edited this) when educating his students or the public on these novels. Education is not easy for the student or the teacher and often you will read texts you may not agree with this does not mean they should not be taught and it does not mean the must be edited. Not all literature is easy; it often stings to read things contained in many novels. The fact that the words removed from this novel so affected Dr. Gribben to such a degree as to cause him to edit out the authorial intended text effectivly white washing these novels, which so wonderfully displays the blemishes of the time period it takes place in, shows just the reason the words must remain as they originally were. It is hard to read, it is hard to say, and that is the point. At the time of this book's publishing it was not, the novel was a satire showing the inherent fooleshness of the way a group of people were treated. It is a sad time we live in; wherein we hide our heads from the truth. We must not erase our history of it's blemishes. Are we to edit Mind Kampf, do we remove the Japanese internment camps from WWII history classes and the holocost because it may make Jewish and Japanese people feel bad. It seems to me Dr. Gribben is missing the whole point. Any educator who is incapable of teaching material because it is to risqué or is not politically correct is not qualified to call them selves an educator or scholar.Read more ›
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