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  • Brief Reviews
  • Gary Scharnhorst

Literary Research and the American Realism and Naturalism Period: Strategies and Sources. By Linda L. Stein and Peter J. Lehu. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2009. 304 pp. Paper, $45.00. Written by librarians rather than experienced researchers in the period, this reference guide contains virtually no information useful to specialists or scholars in the field. With its predictable suggestions, the volume consists of little more than the "bland leading the bland." (GS)

What is Man? And Other Irreverent Essays. By Mark Twain. Ed. S. T. Joshi. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2009. 229 pp. Paper, $16.95. A re-revisionist edition of Twain's most skeptical writings suitable for classroom use and designed to restore Twain's reputation as a "cynical mocker of religion." (GS)

Bricks Without Straw. By Albion W. Tourgée. Ed. Carolyn L. Karcher. Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 2009. 450 pp. Paper, $23.95; cloth, $84.95. A landmark reissue of a major novel set during Reconstruction with a splendid introduction and valuable annotations. (GS)

Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Documentary Volume. Ed. Tom Quirk. DLB 343. Detroit: Gale, 2009. xxvi + 321 pp. Cloth, $254.00. The documentary volumes are by far the most valuable contributions in the DLB series. Quirk's edition is the most useful tool available to teachers of Huck Finn, with excerpts from dozens of letters, reviews, working notes, and scholarly essays. Every academic library should hold it. (GS)

Manly Love: Romantic Friendship in American Fiction. By Axel Nissin. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2009. 229 pp. Cloth, $45.00 The author of an under-researched biography of Bret Harte, Nissin revisits scorched earth here and, with a predictability one seldom encounters in academic writing these days, turns up as much new and interesting material as a hoe without a handle. (Advice to all middle-aged authors who want to be read seriously: Don't mention your nanny in the acknowledgements.) (GS) [End Page 92]



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