Quotes: Mark Twain's American brand of humor

Mark Twain's writings were rooted in a new and distinctly American approach to humor. Here are some memorable quotes from his books, notebooks and speeches.

God created war so that Americans would learn geography.

– The Innocents Abroad

If I cannot swear in heaven, I shall not stay there.

– notebook

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.

– notebook

We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding 12 men every day who don’t know anything and can’t read.

– Americans and the English speech

If a person offends you and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures. Simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick.

– Advice to Youth speech

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.

– unknown

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.

– Following the Equator