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Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again

Mark Twain

Book Overview: 

This satire on the U.S.A.'s myth of being the "Home of the Oppressed, where all men are free and equal", is unrelenting in its pursuit of justice through exposure. It draws a scathingly shameful portrait of how Chinese immigrants were treated in 19th century San Francisco.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Americans every day or two.

Congratulate me, Ching-Foo In ten days more I shall step upon the shore of America, and be received by her great-hearted people; and I shall straighten myself up and feel that I am a free man among freemen.

AH SONG HI.



LETTER III SAN FRANCISCO, 18—.

DEAR CHING-FOO: I stepped ashore jubilant! I wanted to dance, shout, sing, worship the generous Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. But as I walked from the gangplank a man in a gray uniform—[Policeman] —kicked me violently behind and told me to look out—so my employer translated it. As I turned, another officer of the same kind struck me with a short club and also instructed me to look out. I was about to take hold of my end of the pole which had mine and Hong-Wo's basket and things suspended from it, when a thi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a second short story I read of his. Even though I may not agree with the intention with which it was written and the satire behind it, I must say his writing is beautiful.

I won't go deep into the subject, but one thing I never understand is why the whole world including some/most of the A...more

In Goldsmith’s Friend Abroad Again by Mark Twain even his hometown humor can’t mask the horror and injustice that Chinese immigrants experienced in the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century. Like European immigrants, the Asians that came to U.S. shores hoped for a better way...more

Vicious parody of "American Ideals." A chinaman saves all his money for a year and a half, is forced to put his wife and children into dubious custody, and boards a ship for California. He pays $2 for a "certificate" and when he gets ashore, he pays the entire sum or what he has ($10) for a usele...more

Such an honest view of the abuse of immigrants is rare and heartbreaking.

It’s not unheard of to see the patently absurd question asked, “when did we lose our innocence?” After reading Mark Twain’s Goldsmith’s Friend Abroad Again we can at least narrow that elusive date down to sometime before 1870 when he wrote this short story.

Twain had a genius for using humor and...more