Henry Louis Mencken

Henry Louis Mencken

(1880 - 1956)
BIO

Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, critic of American life and culture, and scholar of American English. Known as the “Sage of Baltimore”, he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. Many of his books remain in print.

Mencken is known for writing The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the “Monkey Trial”. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, pseudo-experts, the temperance movement, and uplifters. A keen cheerleader of scientific progress, he was very skeptical of economic theories and particularly critical of anti-intellectualism, bigotry, populism, fundamentalist Christianity, creationism, organized religion, the existence of God, and osteopathic/chiropractic medicine.

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FEATURED WORK
Notes on Democracy

Notes on Democracy

By Henry Louis Mencken

Even if you think you have read it all, this book will rattle you to the very core, for it causes a rethinking of the whole structure of the political system. But Mencken also shows that he is more than a cynic, contrary to his reputation. What shines through this treatise is a deep attachment to liberty and a search for some way to protect it from the attack of the mob, which he regards as liberty’s greatest enemy. If there really were a banned book list in the annals of American statescraft, this would surely be on it. It is not for the faint of heart. Read it, and pass it around, as a revolutionary act.

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