During the Cultural Cold War, and specifically during the Armed Thaw of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Mark Twain became an object of propaganda between the United States and USSR. The U.S. state–private network of intelligence agencies, corporations, media conglomerates, lobbies, and other institutions set about a process of indoctrination that converted Twain into an iconography serving national interests. While the Twain Doctrine has long since ceased to dominate Twain Studies scholarship, it still operates upon the general public. This essay surveys its precepts and gives several examples of its implementation.

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