ABSTRACT

This chapter examines Mark Twain's critique of providential politics in Book III of his Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc. Twain's Machiavellian critique attempts to illustrate the rational limits to theological justifications for a particular and exclusive nationalism. But Twain's defense of Joan shows that any effort to defend the particularity of an individual or a nation requires a rational engagement with human nature, one rooted in the dynamics of the human soul.