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The Statesman and the Storyteller

Unabridged   25.00 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/26/2016

The Statesman and the Storyteller

John Hay, Mark Twain, and the Rise of American Imperialism

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON


In the tradition of the bestselling historical works of David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose, and Walter Isaacson, award-winning documentarian Mark Zwonitzer brings two extraordinary American figures—and friends—into the spotlight at a time when their country was taking center stage in the world.

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Product Description

John Hay, Lincoln's private secretary and later secretary of state under presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, and Samuel Langhorne Clemens, famous as "Mark Twain," grew up fifty miles apart on the banks of the Mississippi River in the same rural antebellum stew of race, class, and want. This shared history drew them together in the late 1860s, and their mutual admiration never waned in spite of sharp differences.

In The Statesman and the Storyteller, the last decade of their lives play out against the tumultuous events of the day, as the United States government begins to aggressively pursue a policy of imperialism, overthrowing the duly elected queen of Hawaii; violently wresting Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines away from Spain; and finally supporting a revolution to clear a path for the building of the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal.

Stunning in its relevance, The Statesman and the Storyteller explores the tactics of America's earliest global policies and their influence on U.S. actions for years to follow. Ultimately, it is the very human rendering of Clemens and Hay that distinguishes Zwonitzer's work, providing profound insights into the lives of two men who helped define their era.


"Barrett's intelligence and ability to control expression and pacing keep this history pleasantly listenable throughout." —AudioFile

Author Bio

Mark Zwonitzer is the coauthor of the biography, Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?: The Carter Family and Their Legacy in American Music, written with Charles Hirshberg. That book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In addition, he is an acclaimed documentary film producer, director, and writer.