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Mencken held to ideas that history was busily sweeping aside. He railed against the growing power of the federal government in the early years of the Roosevelt administration, insisting on an elitist brand of politics that favored the "superior man." He advocated an isolationist course in world affairs, even as totalitarian powers swallowed up whole nations; he agitated against progressive domestic causes; and, albeit ironically, he proposed that capital punishment be turned into a public entertainment. Yet he wrote some of the best, most cruelly entertaining journalism of his time, reporting on great trials, minor crimes, and political conventions, skewering received opinion.
Mencken was "something more than a memorable stylist, if something less than a wise man," Teachout concludes. This careful portrait--the first full-length biography to appear in more than 30 years--gives ample evidence for that verdict. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
As so often with the genteel, the critics of Mencken have focused almost entirely on his manner of writing than rather than the substance of his writing.
Rather, such a viewpoint made Mencken what he was: a very opinionated believer in how people, no matter what their color or ethnicity, should conduct themselves.
_The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken_ by critic Terry Teachout is an interesting biography of the Baltimore newspaperman, iconoclast, and cynic H. L. Mencken.
THIS IS AN INTERESTING BOOK TO READ ABOUT A WELL-KNOWN INDIVIDUAL. THE AUTHOR DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB IN BRINGING MENCKEN INTO FOCUS. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Roland Droitsch
What might we expect of someone who worked very hard to earn an epithet like "The Skeptic" except that he was throroughly skeptical -- I myself would say cynical, or, let's make... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Larry N. Stout
I seldom (actually, never) read a book that I like, yet choose not to recommend it to friends. This biography of HL Mencken has all the ingredients - entertaining writing,... Read morePublished on January 4, 2010 by Matthew McGrath
Like blind men explaining the form of an elephant to the touch, Teachout has shown that one man can't possibly accomplish the task of disecting Mencken. Read morePublished on October 15, 2009 by K. Jones
Mencken said: "it has been my firm belief that all persons who devote themselves to forcing virtue on their fellow men deserve nothing better than kicks in the pants. Read morePublished on June 26, 2009 by Buenoslibros.es
I already knew a lot about Mencken when I bought this book. I learned a lot from reading it. I think it does a great job of compressing a large life into a workable package without... Read morePublished on October 20, 2007 by James B. Johnson
H.L.M. was one of the greater journalists who ever lived in America. More so than almost anyone, he lifted an intellectual class up from the chains of religious orthodoxy. Read morePublished on July 22, 2007 by Jeff
_The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken_ by critic Terry Teachout is an interesting biography of the Baltimore newspaperman, iconoclast, and cynic H. L. Mencken. Read morePublished on June 27, 2007 by New Age of Barbarism
Terry Teachout, who writes for the New York Times, the National Review, and others has written a very short but enjoyable biography of H.L. Mencken. Read morePublished on June 14, 2007 by lector avidus