Books to Look For (February): Biography Vandal: Mark Twain Abroad by Roy Morris, Jr. (Belknap Press, 288 pages, February 9)

Well, if it's a book about Mark Twain, then it had better be in my hands, like, yesterday. American Vandal focuses on the significant amount of time that Twain spent traveling around the world, and how he encouraged middle-class Americans to do the same. This was the "dawn of mass tourism," and Twain enjoyed becoming a "global citizen," especially because it gave him tons of material for satirizing trite American ideas and expectations of other cultures. Marx: A Life by Rachel Holmes (Bloomsbury Press, 528 pages, February 24)

Feminist, translator, and daughter of Karl Marx, Eleanor Marx was a trailblazer, supporting the theater of Henrik Ibsen, leading British dock workers' and gas workers' unions, and editing many of her father's works. Holmes has written about these and many other achievements in what looks like a fantastic biography.

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