Roughing It is a book of semi-autobiographical travel literature by Mark Twain. It was written in 1870–71 and published in 1872, as a prequel to his first travel book The Innocents Abroad (1869).The book follows the travels of young Mark Twain through the Wild West during the years 1861–1867. After a brief stint as a Confederate cavalry militiaman (not included in the account), he joined his brother Orion Clemens, who had been appointed Secretary of the Nevada Territory, on a stagecoach journey west. Twain consulted his brother's diary to refresh his memory and borrowed heavily from his active imagination for many stories in the book.
The greatest interest of the book will probably be found to lie in the innumerable and fully authenticated tales of trappers and traders with which its pages abound. The text is a rare combination of history, observation and story telling, and it is beautifully illustrated. The “breaking of the wilderness,‘ the once savage region west of the Mississippi, by explorer, fighter, trapper and fur trader is pictured to us as by a vitascope.