H.L. Mencken Essays

H.L. Mencken Essays-53
During that decade and half, the years of “wonderful nonsense” that we call the Jazz Age, Mencken turned his scathing wit and rhetoric of ridicule on the political elite of American society with a sense of humor missing from today’s political journalism.

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He did well at newspapering, moving quickly from the lackluster ; but writing for a daily paper didn't begin to exhaust his prodigious energy.

He began writing books on the side, and freelance magazine pieces too.

By the time of his death, he was perhaps the leading authority on the language of his country.

Seventy years ago, one of the most influential American journalists and critics was silenced forever. He lived eight more years but could no longer write with any degree of facility and could read only with difficulty. From the end of World War I until the Great Depression, Mencken reached an audience unmatched by any other political or cultural figure in American history.

With the onslaught of the Great Depression and the rise of Franklin Roosevelt, who Mencken never really understood and seriously underestimated, the popularity and importance of What explains Mencken’s decline in popularity?

Part of the problem is that the kind of raw cynicism that he expressed is no longer acceptable.

Roosevelt and the New Deal as he had been about President Herbert Hoover and Prohibition.

Similarly, when the German culture that he had enjoyed was marred by Adolf Hitler and Nazism, Mencken was slower than some of his public to recognize it and to take the fact seriously., an attempt to bring together examples of American, rather than English, expressions and idioms. It grew with each reissue through the years, and in 19 Mencken published substantial supplements.

His career brought him into contact with the first men of his time; he preferred the company of rustic ignoramuses.” Electing Calvin Coolidge, he wrote, was like being presented with a sumptuous banquet and “staying your stomach by plucking flies out of the air.” When once asked why if he despised politics so much he wasted his time writing about it, Mencken answer was simple: “why do people go to zoos.”Mencken’s influence extended beyond the world of politics into the larger literary scene, again something no present journalist approaches.

He had a keen, if idiosyncratic, eye for good literature.

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  • H. L. Mencken Biography, Books, Significance, & Facts.
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    H. L. Mencken. Mencken was probably the most influential American literary critic in the 1920s, and he often used his criticism as a point of departure to jab at various American social and cultural weaknesses. His reviews and miscellaneous essays filled six volumes aptly titled Prejudices 1919–27.…

  • H. L. Mencken Collection at
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    Search The American Language An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, 2nd ed. 1921 This classic bridges the discrepancies between British and American English and defines the distinguishing characteristics of the language of the United States.…

  • H. L. Mencken On Politics Bayard vs. Lionheart Reason.
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    H. L. Mencken On Politics Bayard vs. Lionheart Known as the “Sage of Baltimore,” he was one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. On July 26, 1920, Mencken published an op-ed in the Baltimore Evening Sun titled “ Bayard vs. Lionheart,” which was later included in a volume of his essays On Politics A Carnival of Buncombe.…

  • The Strange Decline of H. L. Mencken The American Conservative
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    H. L. Mencken, A Little Book in C Major “The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and.…

  • H. L. Mencken Libertarianism Wiki FANDOM powered by Wikia
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    H. L. Mencken on Music A selection of his writings on music together with an account of H. L. Mencken's musical life and a history of the Saturday Night Club edited by Louis Cheslock. New York Knopf, 1961.…

  • H. L. Mencken Essays -
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    H. L. Mencken Essay In order to have an opinion regarding the controversial views of artist and their work; one must come to terms with the meaning of art. Art is abstract, it involves the ordinary and entwining it into a creation of many dimensions.…

  • H. L. Mencken's 'The Land of the Free' - xroads.virginia.edu
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    The Land of the Free. In July of the same year certain persons in New York gave a public dinner to Judge Elbert H. Gary, chairman of the board of directors of the United States Steel Corporation. Judge Gary, for his services to the Cause of Humanity in America, had been made an honorary member of the Fascisti organization.…

  • H. L. Mencken and the South Abbeville Institute
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    H. L. Mencken and the South. Mencken’s “Sahara of the Bozart” is one of the most famous essays of 20th century American let­ters. Since its appearance in 1919, the essay has become widely regarded as Mencken’s “slur on the South,” as his acid-laced repudiation of Southern culture indeed his assertion that the South had no culture.…

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