By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Looking for a new take on today’s politics? Forget about Drudge or the Huffington Post. How about Mark Twain?

Many people quote Twain, says Donald Tiffany Bliss, but few understand how influential he was as an author, commentator and provocateur.

“He thought that the truth about American politics goes down a little better with a dose of humor, but he was kind of the first talking head, America’s first global celebrity. So, yeah, I think Stewart and Colbert sort of carry on the humorous, satirical part of his mission, but you might see him on cable news today or one of the Sunday morning talk shows,” says Bliss.

That’s because Twain, while active at a time that seems remote to ours, critiqued the eternal us, which Bliss, a great-grandson of Twain’s publisher, collects in Mark Twain’s Tale of Today.

This is a thick book, but if you want even more Twain there’s his autobiography, eventually to be three volumes and thousands of pages.

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