His take on politics, religion and human nature are as relevant now as they were then. So much so that he'd probably not be the least surprised by the current appetite for the vapid sound bites and reality shows. Historical figures are not made larger than life by Twain, but reduced to their human scale. From his assessment of Roosevelt's response to the brewing Russian revolution to the snapshot he provides of Harriet Beecher Stowe in her later years, his candor is refreshing. Depending on his mood he reveals himself as a dithering bumpkin, a vain and arrogant man, a humble man, an astute observer, independent thinker, loving husband and father.