"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." Observations like this make Mark Twain the most widely read and quoted American author. This guide utilizes quotes, excerpts, biographical information, and critical analysis in examining Twain's vast output of novels, personal memoirs, social criticisms, and essays, both serious and hilarious. It also demonstrates how Twain carefully stored his life experiences in his mind, then mined and refined them years later, to bring us the timeless lessons he had learned. In all his works, students will find the underlying fears, disappointments, hopes and dreams he held for America-and he always found the right words to tell us.