This is technically perhaps not a great autobiography, in that it is rather a scrap book of anecdotes from Twain's life, with a casual tone that serious-minded readers might find less than fulfilling; but the anecdotes that work are brilliant, and I have read the brilliant ones countless times. I have read the parts about Twain's mother over and over, because she is the type person I aspire to be!! I'll give one anecdote about her to explain: There was a fierce, strongly built Corsican in Hannibal chasing his daughter through the streets with a thick rope, threatening to beat her with it. All the strongest men did not interfere as this man chased his daughter. The daughter finally came to Mrs. Clemens' door, and she let the girl in the door. But rather than shut the door, Mrs. Clemens--a frail woman--stood in the door way, blocking the way of the Corsican. The Corsican yelled at her, threatening her with the rope to get out of the way so he could get to his daughter. But Mrs. Clemens stood firm, and then berated the Corsican for chasing his daughter, and shamed his manhood, so that he finally swore with a blasphemous oath that she was the bravest woman he had ever met. He gave the rope to her, left his daughter alone, and he and Mrs. Clemens were friends after that. For, as Twain puts it, "he had found in her a long-wanted need. Someone who was not afraid of him." I'd truly love typing my favorite bits of this book for you to read here. But Twain certainly tells them better, so I recommend you buy the book instead. You won't regret it. It will make you feel good about being American. And not in any patriotic sense, but in a down-to-earth sense.