Mark Twain Made Me Do It and Other Plains Adventures is a collection of humorous essays portraying western Nebraska life and culture of the 1950s. Anecdotes on small-town baseball and the polio epidemic of 1952 provide a historic backdrop to the story of a wide-eyed boy exploring the limits of his universe. The adventures of a Twain-inspired raft trip down the South Platte and Sputnik-inspired homemade rockets mirror a society of seemingly settled lifestyles and frenzied technological advances. Family travels, holidays with Grandpa and Grandma, and marvelous creations like his sister's stories of Susabelle and the magic Band-Aids weave a splendid tale. But Jones's world is not one of sentimental nostalgia; running battles with town bullies, sobering encounters with religious buffoons, and an impressive collection of pedagogues specializing in violent corporal punishment capture the earthy essence of a world now largely disappeared.