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Mark Twain in China$
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Selina Lai-Henderson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789646

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789646.001.0001

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Mark Twain the Chinese Boxer

Mark Twain the Chinese Boxer

Reflections and Reformation of a Red-Hot Anti-Imperialist

(p.53) Chapter 3 Mark Twain the Chinese Boxer
Mark Twain in China

Selina Lai-Henderson

Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses Twain’s anti-imperialist position and involvement with the American Anti-Imperialist League as he returned from Europe in 1900. Twain was infuriated as imperial powers including the US were taking land by force not only from the Chinese, but also from Filipinos, Cubans, and other people of color. What he once perceived as “human vermin” turned out to be nobler than many of the so-called “civilized” people. Admitting to once being a “red-hot imperialist,” he returned home declaring himself a Chinese Boxer against European and American imperialism. The author discusses a few important anti-imperialist pieces, such as “To the Person Sitting in Darkness,” “To My Missionary Critics,” “The United States of Lyncherdom,” and “The Fable of the Yellow Terror,” and examines the factors that led Clemens to take issue with the Rev. William Ament and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (ABCFM).

Keywords:   To the Person Sitting in Darkness, To My Missionary Critics, The United States of Lyncherdom, The Fable of the Yellow Terror, William Ament, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission, American Anti-Imperialist League, red-hot imperialist, Chinese Boxer

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