Mark Twain In Context provides the fullest introduction in one volume to the multifaceted life and times of one of the most celebrated American writers. It is a collection of short, lively contributions covering a wide range of topics on Twain's life and works. Twain lived during a time of great change, upheaval, progress, and challenge. He rose from obscurity to become what some have called 'the most recognizable person on the planet'. Beyond his contributions to literature, which were hugely important and influential, he was a businessman, an inventor, an advocate for social and political change, and ultimately a cultural icon. Placing his life and work in the context of his age reveals much about both Mark Twain and America in the last half of the nineteenth century, the twentieth century, and the first decades of the twenty-first century.