The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken

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Harper Collins, Nov 4, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
2 Reviews

When H. L. Mencken talked, everyone listened -- like it or not. In the Roaring Twenties, he was the one critic who mattered, the champion of a generation of plain-speaking writers who redefined the American novel, and the ax-swinging scourge of the know-nothing, go-getting middle-class philistines whom he dubbed the "booboisie." Some loved him, others loathed him, but everybody read him. Now Terry Teachout takes on the man Edmund Wilson called "our greatest practicing literary journalist," brilliantly capturing all of Mencken's energy and erudition, passion and paradoxes, in a masterful biography of this iconoclastic figure and the world he shaped.

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

Teachout is a biographer worthy of Mencken. Avoiding both hagiography and hatchet job, he details Mencken's life, warts and all, and discusses both his strengths and weaknesses as a writer, journalist ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - labwriter - LibraryThing

I haven't read the Fred Hobson biog of Mencken, so I can't compare them.Teachout's book is very readable. This isn't one of those "throw every single fact I know into the book" kinds of biographies ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Terry Teachout writes about literature and the arts for the New York Times, Time, National Review, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Commentary. His books include A Second Mencken Chrestomaby, a manuscript he rediscovered among Mencken's private papers. He lives in New York City.

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