Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Podcast- The War Prayer by Mark Twain

The War Prayer is a remarkable work by one of America's greatest authors, which is to say Mark Twain.  It's remarkable in its power and enduring relevance.  It also had an interesting history.

Twain wrote it in 1905, out of the abundance of his heart, but was urged by almost everyone around him, family, friends, business associates, not to publish it while he was still alive.  Twain took this to heart.  It's said that one of his few friends of contrary opinion on the matter asked Twain if he would just go ahead and publish it in spite of the warnings.  Twain replied, "No, I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead."

He left instructions to publish it six years after his death.  As providence would have it, that fell just a few months before the entry of the United States into World War I.  It's said, and probably rightly so, that if it had been but a few months later it may not have seen the light of day, at least until after the war.

As usual, you can listen to my reading of it here:

Or, you can download it for yourself here:


  1. Sorrowful! Sin has brought sorrow and death. We get short-sighted in so many aspects of life, including politics and patriotism.

  2. I can't believe I've never heard this before.