First published in 1988, this book contains entries on famous American Humorists. Humor has been present in American literature, from the beginning, and has developed characteristics that reflect the American character, both regional and national. Although American literature was, in the past, treated as inferior to British literature, there has always been a large popular audience for the genre, which this book shows.
The figures with entries in this encyclopedia not only amuse in their writing, but also aim to enlighten- setting out to expose the foibles and foolishness of society and the individuals who compose it. It is the manner in which these authors try to accomplish this end that determines whether they appear in the volume. Indeed, the book will demonstrate that the best humor has at its base, a ready understanding of human nature.