In a radical departure from standard editions, Mark Twain’s most famous novel is published here with one disturbing racial label translated as “slave.” In seeking to record accurately the speech of uneducated boys and adults along the Mississippi River in the 1840s, Twain casually included an epithet that is diminishing the potential audience for his masterpiece. While dozens of other editions preserve the inflammatory slur that the author employed for the sake of realism, the NewSouth Edition proves that the main point of Twain’s masterpiece—the immense harm deriving from inhumane social conformity—comes through just as vibrantly without obliging readers to confront hundreds of insulting racial pejoratives. The editor’s Introduction supplies the historical and literary context for Twain’s groundbreaking book, along with a helpful guide to his satirical targets.
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