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About the Author
Ambassador Donald Tiffany Bliss (retired) served for thirteen years in the federal government in four administrations and practiced law with an international law firm in Washington D.C. for thirty years. He has testified before Congress, registered as a lobbyist, directed a political action committee, worked in a presidential campaign, served as president of a political think tank, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, and advised numerous clients on the mysterious workings of the federal bureaucracy. He has served on a number of nonprofit and corporate boards and is currently president of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. He draws on these experiences in drawing parallels between the Gilded Age and contemporary American politics. Bliss is the great-grandson of Elisha Bliss, Jr, President of the American Publishing Company, which published, among others, Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, The Gilded Age, and Tom Sawyer. He is also the grandson of Walter Bliss, who, as secretary and treasurer of the American Publishing Company, was involved in the publication, among others, of Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson, and the collected works of Mark Twain. Bliss is the author of The Law of Airline Customer Relations, Stability, Security, Safety and Service, Hale & Northam (2002) and is co-author of Counsel for the Situation, Shaping the Law to Realize America's Promise, Brookings Press (2010) (the story of the life of the Honorable William T. Coleman, Jr, a great American lawyer who broke many barriers.) Bliss lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife, Nancy.
Thiis book is clearly focused on Mark Twain's political interests, written by a relation of Twain's most prominent publisher. It provides an illuminating perspective on our great "American voice." The book was particularly helpful to me in writing about my own travels to presidential homes, "Calling on the Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell." Donald Bliss's accounts of Twain's opinions regarding the various American Presidents he came to know and either support or question was extremely astute, particularly in its handling of the curious parallels between Twain and Teddy Roosevelt, parallels that neither man would have acknowledged at the time. Bliss also adds personal perspectives on some of the political issues of the present day, suggesting how Twain might have seen them, a perspective that makes this book truly unique. I found it a most worthwhile read and am happy to recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about Mark Twain's relationship to the political climate of his day.
This was such an interesting book! It takes an in-depth look at a man that was so unique and such a larger than life character. I was so intrigued as I read further and further into this book and was amazed at how much information the book this book holds within its pages. This book will take you some time to get through as it is close to 500 pages. Within these pages though you will be amazed at such an inordinate amount of information that you never knew about Mark Twain. You get to see that Mark Twain was so much more than what you saw on the outside. I have to say that I learned so much in this book and as I am still reading, I am still learning, and I know that you will as well. This book is well written and so full of facts and figures that you will be in awe at the detail of research that has gone into the writing of this book (I know that I was). All-in-all this was an amazing story that will make you think twice about what you thought you knew about Mark Twain!