CULTURE & ARTS

Why Reading Mark Twain Is The Key To Understanding Donald Trump

The novel is 132 years old, but it's quite relevant in 2016, according to New Yorker writer David Denby.

If you need any more proof that literature teaches us invaluable lessons about our world -- or that Donald Trump is a problematic part of our presidential election -- look no further than this interview with New Yorker writer David Denby.

Denby is on a mission to get teenagers to see reading as a pleasurable, life-enhancing pastime, a journey he chronicles in his new book Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change LivesDuring a Thursday conversation with HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, Denby underscored the connection between classic fiction and critical thinking in quite the contemporary -- and, as he put it, "tendentious" -- way.

"If more people had read Mark Twain, Donald Trump wouldn't have gotten anywhere, because that kind of blustering egomania con artist is all through Huckleberry Finn, and you would recognize that this guy doesn't have any idea what he's talking about," Denby said.

And if reading Twain isn't enough to convince you, a quick sampling of writing by The Donald himself should do the trick.

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist,birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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