He was the eldest son of august mencken, a successful businessman who owned a tobacco business, and in whose footsteps the young boy was expected to follow. Mencken is one of the most feared and revered critics of the 20th century. Its all in wilsons hands, mencken concludes after looking around at frisco. In 1906 he joined the staff of the baltimore sun, thus beginning an association which lasted until a few years before his death. Mencken, in full henry louis mencken, born september 12, 1880, baltimore, maryland, u. And a major theme of his writings was that every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. Henry lewis mencken henry lewis mencken poems poem hunter. Some laud the book as progressive while others brand it as reactionary. When this book was issued, i remarked that we had reached a point when there were more books about mencken than books written by mencken himself. Now, fifty years after menckens death, the johns hopkins university press announces the buncombe collection, newly packaged editions of nine mencken classics. Eight volumes will contain material from the smart set.
Henry louis mencken september 12, 1880 january 29, 1956 was a germanamerican journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of american english. Such remarks are the enemy of real race realism, and fully deserve the environmentalist rebuttal which they are sure to receive. He spent thousands of dollars challenging restrictions on freedom of the press. Henry louis mencken wikisource, the free online library. For the book by alasdair gray see the book of prefaces. I first learned of the sage of baltimore during his cameo appearance in a great plains history course, at the university of nebraska. The first american to be widely read as a critic was h. He is issuing these books through amazons createspace print and kindle ebook platforms. Henry louis mencken was 76 years old when he died on 29th january 1956 ad. Menckens 1917 collection of essays criticizing american culture, authors, and movements. Writing books is certainly a most unpleasant occupation.
He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. In fact, the book was considered vitriolic enough that menckens close friend alfred knopf was concerned about publishing. Mencken on teaching and enthusiasm, from scientific. There is always a wellknown solution to every human problemneat, plausible and wrong. With a style that combined biting sarcasm with the language of the free lunch counter, henry louis mencken shook politics and politicians for nearly half a century.
Menckenborn september 12, 1880 baltimore, marylanddied january 29, 1956 baltimore, maryland writer and editor the united states is incomparably the greatest show on earth. In 19 books and thousands of essays, his writings are a treasure of wisdom couched in a sparkling wit. He began his long career as a journalist, critic, and philologist on the baltimore morning herald in 1899. Though he was not a distinguished stylist, the extraordinary vigor of his expression was memorable. Mencken s most popular book is a mencken chrestomathy. While mencken didnt champion womens rights, he described women as wiser in many novel and observable ways, while demeaning average men. Henry louis mencken 18801956 was an american journalist, editor, critic, and philologist.
Shortly after world war ii, mencken expressed his intention of bequeathing his books and papers to the pratt library. Mencken described the work as my most important book in its effects upon my professional career. Most of the books about mencken are of little worth. On being an american baltimore evening sunoctober 11, 1920 peasant and cockney.
Mencken was less an introduction than a confrontation. Read all poems of henry lewis mencken and infos about henry lewis mencken. Happy days, heathen days, newspaper days, prejudices. Menckens most popular book is a mencken chrestomathy. There is always a wellknown solution to every human. Mencken turned increasingly to writing books he had written eight on music. Henry louis mencken, 1880 1956 mencken is often cynical and shallow, but sometimes amusing or interesting. Joshis anthology of menckens work on religion is a terrifically entertaining read. Mencken says alls set to put young william over if wilson gives the word. He attacked chiropractors and the ku klux klan, politicians and other journalists. Diaries, the one by samuel pepys being the exception, seldom make for marvelous reading, and this is probably the only dull thing mencken ever wrote. The saying was included in a 1955 compilation titled speakers handbook of epigrams and witticisms by herbert v. A contribution toward the interpretation of the national mind new york. This study guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of the vintage mencken.
No 49 the american language by hl mencken 1919 this declaration of linguistic independence by the renowned us journalist and commentator marked a. Henry loui s menck en september 12, 1880 january 29, 1956 was an american journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of american english. Mencken has 241 books on goodreads with 119065 ratings. No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.
But his opinion of the prewar south was quite different. Henry lewis mencken poems, quotations and biography on henry lewis mencken poet page. Read about how his writing helped influence much of the popular, social, and political culture. You never push a noun against a verb without trying to blow up something. The mencken society promoting the living works of henry. Mencken became one of the most influential and prolific journalists in america in the 1920s and 30s, writing about all the shams and con artists in the world. Mencken attended a baltimore private school and the baltimore polytechnic. Mencken on teaching, enthusiasm and pedagogy a quote on teaching and enthusiasm. Henry louis mencken 18801956 was born into a germanamerican family in baltimore, maryland. Mencken comes from an upperclass background in a wealthy portion of baltimore, maryland, in the late 19th.
Knopf, 1920, also by george jean nathan gutenberg text and page images. For better or worse, i am a child of the plains, and so my first experience with h. He completed his primary education at professor knapps school. Menckens criticisms were leveled at the south of the early 1900s, a region still recovering from the devastation of the war and reconstruction. Free audio book that you can download in mp3, ipod and itunes format for your portable audio player. Mencken was perhaps americas most outspoken defender of liberty in the first half of the 20th century. Delaware county district library ohio scanned in china. In the duel of sex woman fights from a dreadnought and man from an open raft. Mencken was an equalopportunity infidel, skewering evangelicals, mainstream protestants, catholics, theosophists, and christian scientists entirely without theological favoritism. The result is the most excruciatingly detailed mencken biography of them all. The fourth, fifth, and sixth series library of america by mencken, h. Mencken was born to germanamerican parents august mencken, a cigar factory owner and anna abhau mencken.
Menckens 1918 book on women and the relationship between the sexes. Joshi has begun issuing editions of menckens early newspaper and magazine work as part of a longrange project titled the collected essays and journalism of h. Theres more to say about menckens views on the negro question and caste, but im splitting it. There is always a wellknown solution to every human problemneat, plausible and. Essential readings for the nonbeliever, and a mencken chrestomathy, and more on.340 1067 317 713 1302 924 1397 451 379 1136 269 967 514 33 202 747 1509 1104 81 1352 1265 1582 1035 1152 956 761 1263 802 923 380 766 723 1004