You will prepare and submit a term paper on On Mark Twain’s The War Prayer. Your paper should be a minimum of 2000 words in length. John Trombold is a multiple contributor, and uses this essay to attack the American concepts of Manifest Destiny. The work is a public plea calling for Americans to educate themselves as to the reasoning behind constant war waging. The source is recent, published in 2006, and poignantly reviews historical facts from the American World Wars up to and including our current military occupation in Iraq, and Afghanistan.

This resource would not be a significant contributor to an essay on Mark Twains work, “The War Prayer.” The majority of the content is given to out of date American political policy as it was created by Theodore Roosevelt. Trombold attacks Roosevelt for openly lying to the public about the need for a war and for using the American peoples trust to futher his own financial gains. The source neither supports nor weakens Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.” The essay asks the American reader of 2008 to think instead how our foreign policies should differ from that of Roosevelt’s traditional war hungry America.

In this critical analysis of Mark Twain essays, author David Zmijeski details how Twain was commissioned by the American Government as a political, and literary advocate in favor of America’s attempts to annex and acquire the Sandwich Islands. The article gives a detailed account of exactly how/why/when Mark Twain openly supported the idea of increasing trade and acquiring land from Hawaii, and mainland China.

This article is scholarly in nature, written exclusively for the Hawaiian Journal of History, and republished with permission in 2007. The Journal began in 1967 and publishes articles and essays exclusively about the history and legacy of the Pacific Islands. Zmijewski bases his essay on factual correspondence written by Mark Twain to the American government about the Polynesian and Sandwich Islands. Mark Twain is quoted often as adamantly advocating for less military and political American presence around the world, yet Zmijewski displays for the reader multiple correspondences in which Twain supports the opening of free trade with the Hawaiian Islands and calls for an American Military presence of some sort. The Hawaiian Journal releases the records and Zmijewski uses Twain’s own writing to contradict his longtime opposition of American foreign involvement.

This particular article would be of great interest and support to a paper on Mark Twain’s the War Prayer. It is one of the few works that documenting the hidden dichotomy between what Twain privately believes in and what he asks the American public to believe. The great American master is caught denouncing Westward Expansion on one hand while simultaneously calling for financial and military support to acquire Hawaii on the other.

Caplan, David. “That Grotesque and Laughable Word”: Rethinking Patriotism in Time of War.” Virginia Quarterly Review 83 (2007): 139-51. November 20th 2008.

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