A Second Mencken Chrestomathy by H.L. Mencken

By H.L. Mencken

This excellent Sequel to the best-selling A Mencken Chrestomathy of approximately part a century in the past is stuffed with the iconoclastic logic that marked H. L. Mencken's striking occupation because the most desirable American social critic of the 20 th century. accumulated by means of Mencken himself ahead of he died in 1956, this moment chrestomathy ("a selection of chosen literary passages," with the accessory at the tom) includes writings a couple of number of matters - politics, battle, song, literature, women and men, attorneys, brethren of the fabric. a few of his essays have beguiling titles - "Notes for a good Autobiography," "The Commonwealth of Morons," "Le Vice Anglais," "Acres of Babble," "Hooch for the Artist." them all are a excitement to learn, and we're reminded that what Mencken wrote within the early years of this century is still appropriate to a truly assorted the USA.

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I. AMERICANA The Commonwealth of Morons From ON BEING AN AMERICAN, PREJUDICES: THIRD SERIES, 1922, pp. 12–28, 59 IN THE United States the business of getting a living is enormously easier than it is in any other Christian land—so easy, in fact, that a forehanded man who fails at it must almost make deliberate efforts to that end. Here the general average of intelligence, of knowledge, of competence, of integrity, of self-respect, of honor is so low that any man who knows his trade, does not fear ghosts, has read fifty good books, and practices the common decencies stands out as brilliantly as a wart on a bald head.

The chief business of the nation, as a nation, is the setting up of heroes, mainly bogus. Ten iron-molders meet in the backroom of a saloon, organize a lodge of the Noble and Mystic Order of American Rosicrucians, and elect a wheelwright Supreme Worthy Whimwham; a month later they send a notice to the local newspaper that they have been greatly honored by an official visit from that Whimwham, and that they plan to give him a jeweled fob for his watch-chain. The chief national eminentissimos cannot remain mere men.

A Book of Calumny, the revised version of In Defense of Women, Notes on Democracy and the six volumes of Prejudices. All of this material is in the typing of Mrs. Rosalind C. Lohrfinck, Mencken’s secretary, with interlinear corrections by Mencken. The second and third files contain mounted clippings of columns from the Baltimore Sunpapers and unsorted carbons of various other published articles. The fourth and fifth files contain loose, unsorted clippings from newspapers and magazines, some dating as far back as the early 1900s.

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