Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, Page 339…

mark-twain-portrait“In the matter of slavish imitation, man is the monkey’s superior all the time. The average man is destitute of independence of opinion. He is not interested in contriving an opinion of his own, by study and reflection, but is only anxious to find out what his neighbor’s opinion is and slavishly adopt it.

“A generation ago, I found out that the latest review of a book was pretty sure to be just a reflection of the earliest review of it; that whatever the first reviewer found to praise or censure in the book would be repeated in the latest reviewer’s report, with nothing fresh added. “


Filed under: Overheard


  1. Things have changed since Twain’s time. Nowadays most books worth reading, and many not, are subjected to various and sundried reviews in a variety of publications that span the gauntlet of sentiment from highly praised to undeserving of a glance.

    Comment by CuriousFred — 3.03.2011 @ 11:22 am

  2. Could also reflect on the practice of checking with others before taking a legislative position.

    Comment by Managementslug — 3.03.2011 @ 6:02 pm

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