A Second Mencken Chrestomathy: A New Selection from the Writings of America's Legendary Editor, Critic, and Wit

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JHU Press, Sep 27, 2006 - History - 528 pages
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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. Now, fifty years after Mencken’s death, the Johns Hopkins University Press announces The Buncombe Collection, newly packaged editions of nine Mencken classics: Happy Days, Heathen Days, Newspaper Days, Prejudices, Treatise on the Gods, On Politics, Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work, Minority Report, and A Second Mencken Chrestomathy.

Discovered among his private papers and edited by columnist Terry Teachout, this collection is full of the iconoclastic common sense that marked Mencken’s astonishing career as the premier American social critic of the twentieth century. This chrestomathy ("a collection of literary passages") incorporates writings about a variety of subjects: politics, war, music, literature, men and women, lawyers, and the brethren of the cloth.

 

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Contents

Americana
3
The Pushful American
9
The Metaphysic of Rotary
17
The Immigration Problem
23
Bring On the Clowns
29
Liberty and Democracy
35
Reflections on Government
43
The Last Ditch
51
Arnold Bennett
251
Somerset Maugham
259
H Lawrence
265
James Branch Cabell
271
Dreiser as Philosopher
278
Mrs Wharton
284
Playwrights and Poets
290
Edgar Lee Masters
296

The Next Round
56
Memorials of Dishonor
62
Cops and Their Art
68
One Size Fits All
74
The Arbuckle Case
81
Over the Side
89
The Root of Religion
96
The Believing Mind
104
Shock Troops
110
The Great Illusion
116
At the Mercy of the Mob
125
Men and Women
131
Venus at the Domestic Hearth
137
The Burnt Child
143
Cast a Cold Eye
150
Thomas Henry Huxley
156
Elegy
163
The Professions
168
The Rewards of Virtue
175
Metropolis
186
The Utopia of Tolerance
192
Interlude in the Socratic Manner
198
Boston
206
Transcendentalism
213
The Novel
219
The Ultimate Realists
225
Jane Austen
231
The Father of Them All
238
H G Wells
244
Cassandras Lament
303
A Novel a Day
310
A Novel of the First Rank
314
An American Novel
320
A New Constitution for Maryland
327
Hooch for the Artist 241
341
Advice to Young Men
349
The Public Prints
355
The Baltimore Sunpaper
364
The MuckRakers
371
Katzeniammer
378
The Lower Depths
386
Prima Facie
392
The Tone Art
394
Dvorak
401
Debussy and Wagner 497
407
Night Club
415
Reminiscence in the Present Tense
424
A Texas Schoolmaarn
432
The Incomparable Bok
439
One Who Will Be Missed
446
Ironies
453
Interlude Sentimentale
459
The Bugaboo
463
Mencken by Himself
470
Further Exposition
478
Categorical Imperatives
485
Coda
491
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Terry Teachout is a journalist and critic whose biography of Mencken, The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken, was published in 2002. Henry Louis Mencken was born in Baltimore in 1880 and remained a lifelong resident. Opinionated and controversial, he wrote columns for the Baltimore Evening Sun that earned him a national reputation. He died in 1956.