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With The Gilded Age, Mark Twain not only began an illustrious literary career - he also coined a phrase to describe an era. First published in 1873, The Gilded Age is both a biting satire and a revealing portrait of post-Civil War America - an age of corruption, of national optimism, and of crooked land speculators, ruthless bankers, and dishonest politicians voraciously taking advantage of that new optimism.With his characteristic wit and perception, Mark Twain and his collaborator, Charles Dudley Warner, attack the greed, lust, and naivete of their own time in a work that remains today not only a valuable social document but also one of America's most important satirical novels.