- Mark Twain visited West Point at least ten times, delighting the cadets with stories, jokes, and speeches. Fascinated with West Point, Mark Twain mingled with cadets in the barracks, visited classrooms, and observed cavalry and artillery drills and parades. He formed lasting friendships with many cadets, faculty, and Superintendents. Philip W. Leon discusses each visit and traces the influence of West Point on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and other writings. A special chapter explores Mark Twain’s response to some incidents of cadet hazing. Presenting archival material such as diaries, memoirs, official records, contemporary newspaper accounts, and previously unpublished correspondence, Leon illuminates the close ties of America’s favorite storyteller and its premier military academy.
Philip W. Leon, a professor of American Literature at The Citadel, served at West Point as a senior advisor to the Superintendent. He has published books on the Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Styron and on Walt Whitman.
Published: March 1996
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.