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The New York Times, December 1, 1960


Special to The New York Times

MOSCOW, Nov. 30 - The Soviet Union commemorated today the 125th anniversary of Mark Twain's birth by eulogizing the author of "Tom Sawyer" as "a depicter of the backstage side of the notorious American democracy."

Eleven million copies of Twain's works have been sold in the Soviet Union and critics here have assumed an almost proprietary attitude toward the author.

Reviews in Moscow newspapers today manifested an affection for the joy and wit of Twain's novels like that felt by many Americans. But far more weight is given here to Twain's political polemics, many of which are only collector's items in the United States.

Two admirers of Mark Twain, one in New York and the other in Moscow, discussed the author by telephone yesterday.

Charles Neider, editor of "The Autobiography of Mark Twain," called Prof. Ossip Mendelson, member of the editorial board of Twain's collected works in the Soviet Union. They had arranged the call by cablegram.

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