The Boy Who Became Mark Twain
By Hal Holbrook
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374281014, 480pp.)
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
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"Harold "is Hal Holbrook's affecting memoir of growing up behind disguises, and his lifelong search for himself. Abandoned by his mother and father when he was two, Holbrook and his two sisters each commenced their separate journeys of survival. Raised by his powerful grandfather until his death when Holbrook was twelve, Holbrook spent his childhood at boarding schools, visiting his father in an insane asylum, and hoping his mother would suddenly surface in Hollywood. As the Second World War engulfed Europe, Holbrook began acting almost by accident. Thereafter, through war, marriage, and the work of honing his craft, his fear of insanity and his fearlessness in the face of risk were channeled into his discovery that the riskiest path of all--success as an actor--would be his birthright. The climb up that tough, tough mountain was going to be a lonely one. And how he achieved it--the cost to his wife and children and to his own conscience--is the dark side of his eventual fame from performing the man his career would forever be most closely associated with, the iconic Mark Twain.
Hal Holbrook is a celebrated actor who has starred in such films as All the President’s Men, Wall Street, and The Firm. He has won five prime-time Emmy Awards for his work in television, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008 for his role in Into the Wild.
Hal Holbrook is best known for his timeless portrayal of Mark Twain in the one-man show Mark Twain Tonight. But before becoming a beloved actor, he endured a painful childhood. In Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain, Holbrook reflects on how he finally found his way. More at NPR.org
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