Mencken's America

Mencken's America

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Overview

Long famous as a political, social, and cultural gadfly, journalist and essayist H. L. Mencken was unafraid to speak his mind on controversial topics and to express his views in a deliberately provocative manner. Mencken was prolific; much of his best work lies buried in the newspapers and magazines in which it originally appeared. Mencken's America is a sampling of this uncollected work, arranged to present the wide-ranging treatise on American culture that Mencken himself never wrote. The core of the book is a series of six articles on "The American" published in the Smart Set in 1913 and 1914. Never before reprinted, they embody the essence of Mencken's views on the deficiencies of his countrymen. Bracing, infuriating, and pungent, H. L. Mencken's writings retain their relevance even after the passage of nearly a hundred years, cogently discussing issues with which Americans of the twenty-first century are still wrestling. Sagaciously edited by S. T. Joshi, one of the country's foremost Mencken scholars, Mencken's America is a superb example of America's turning the looking glass on itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821415320
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2004
Edition description: 1
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 1,144,991
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Introductionvii
A Note on This Editionxix
Prologue: On Living in the United States1
1.The American: A Treatise7
The American7
The American: His Morals17
The American: His Language28
The American: His Ideas of Beauty39
The American: His Freedom49
The American: His New Puritanism59
2.The American Landscape71
Good Old Baltimore71
Maryland: Apex of Normalcy80
The City of Seven Sundays86
Along the Potomac96
San Francisco: A Memory100
San Francisco103
New York106
3.American Politics, Morality, and Religion113
Meditation in E Minor113
What Ails the Republic116
The American Politician119
Religion in America129
1.Evangelical Pastors129
2.Church and State133
3.The American Religion136
The Burden of Credulity140
Notes on Negro Strategy143
4.American Art, Literature, and Culture147
Puritanism as a Literary Force147
The American Tradition169
The Low-Down on Hollywood174
Palmy Days for Authors180
Epilogue: Testament185
Notes191
Glossary of Names203
Sources235
Index237

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