In 1867, Mark Twain set out from New York City for Europe and the Holy Land on the paddle-steamer Quaker City. The result of that trip was The Innocents Abroad, a travel book unlike any that had gone before it. Irreverent and irrepressible, Twain pokes fun at officious tour guides and
offensive tourists alike. The book offers a glimpse of a major writer when he was young and just beginning to flex his muscles, and also serves as an enduring no-nonsense guide for the first-time traveler to Europe and the Holy Land. The trip stimulates Twain to meditate on how the "new world" is
different from the "old" and engenders reflections on what a society must be like to be thought of as genuinely "civilized." The Innocents Abroad is alternately profound and profoundly entertaining. Twain may find himself exasperated or exhausted--but the story he tells is never dull. It is no
wonder that the book was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.