“The Psychologies of Mark Twain”

The Time Capsule section of the April issue of the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology contains an article on “The Psychologies of Mark Twain.” Written by clinical psychologist Mark Zehr, the piece explores Twain’s general psychological affinities, as well as his relationships with important early psychologists such as William James. Zehr writes that,

Twain was much more than a “mere humorist.” His reputation as a sharp social critic was … well-established through his verbal assaults on racial and sexual inequality; his anti-imperialist writings; and his fervent support of causes such as treatment of animals, including opposition to vivisection in animal experimentation.

Less known, perhaps, are Twain’s connections to psychology, although it’s no surprise that a man whose writings throughout his career are dominated by his fascination with human nature would be interested in the field. Throughout his life, Twain was an avid student of science and its implications for human behavior.

The full article can be found online here. Previous AHP posts on the Monitor‘s Time Capsule section can be found here, here, here, and here.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.

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