wildly curious
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Chasing the Last Laugh

Major James B Pond, University of Virginia Library, http://bit.ly/2a0uRqV
"Mark having breakfast in Olympia Wash Aug 11 -- 1895"

Monday, we’re telling the story of what author Richard Zacks calls Mark Twain’s “raucous and redemptive round-the-world comedy tour.” Twain was once America’s highest paid writer, but he was also a remarkably bad businessman. In 1895, with his career on the rocks and with what today would be millions in debt, Twain embarked on a 5-continent speaking tour he hoped would save him. Zacks joins Doug to talk about Twain’s wildly popular humor, his missteps, and what drove his quest for redemption.

Richard Zacks is a journalist and author. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Atlantic, and Harper's Magazine among many others. His books include Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York and Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805. His new book is called Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour  [Indiebound|Amazon|Audible]

Related Content
  • Tuesday we're telling the story of a bankrupt and dying Ulysses S. Grant and the colorful Mark Twain. In 1884, Grant lost all his money in a Ponzi scheme…