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H.L. Mencken: Prejudices: The Complete Series (Library of America) Hardcover – September 2, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Mencken, one of the most influential intellectuals in the US in the first half of the 20th century, was provocative, amusing and interesting. He was neither religious nor leftist, but rather full of contempt for both. He described himself as a conservative anarchist. He was pleading for resistance to the pollution of logic by emotion. On the other hand, he was given to mixing up issues badly and he wasn't such a sharp logician himself when it came to political questions.
His critical essays were collected, edited and published in 6 volumes during the 1910s/20s. The books were called Prejudices, which is a title that appeals to me. Library of America has now published the 6 Prejudices series in two of their nice black volumes. They are a delight.
As critics do, Mencken knew everything better. That's part of the fun.
Psychology and psychoanalysis were indistinguishable from evangelism and circus clowns.
'Emerson, on the side of ideas, has left but faint tracks behind him.'
'Sargent should have been a designer of candy box tops.'
Teddy Roosevelt was a brother in spirit of the Kaiser. 'The America that Roosevelt dreamed of was a kind of swollen Prussia.'
The lands to the South of the Potomac were void of culture and ideas.
No prostitute was ever so vile to a community as a prowling vice crusader. Prohibition will gradually empty the US of its present minority of civilized men.
If women really knew their business, they would give up cooking and focus instead on distilling and brewing. It is a rare man who would walk five blocks for a meal, but it is also a rare man who would not walk 5 blocks for a good cocktail.Read more ›
railing against the effects of the 18th amendment, mencken wrote: ‘What all the current optimists overlook is that the illogical and indefensible persecutions certain to occur in increasing number under the Prohibition Amendment constitute the chief cause of its popularity among the sort of men who are in favor of it. The typical Prohibitionist, in other words, is a man full of religious excitement, with the usual sadistic overtones. He delights in persecution for its own sake. He likes to see the other fellow jump and to hear him yell. This thirst is horribly visible in all the salient mad mullahs of the land—that is, in all the genuine leaders of American culture. Such skillful boob-bumpers as the Rev. Dr. Billy Sunday know what that culture is; they know what the crowd wants. Thus they convert the preaching of the allege Word of God into a rough-and-tumble pursuit of definite sinners—saloon-keepers, prostitutes, Sabbath-breakers, believers in Darwinian hypothesis, German exegetes, hand-books, poker-players, adulterers, cigarette-smokers, users of profanity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I discovered Mencken as an undergraduate in the 1960s and have found his writing fascinating over the years, ranging from the first really good book on Nietzsche in English to his... Read morePublished 7 months ago by C. Perelli-Minetti
Beautiful books. Expensive, but Mencken is worth it!,
Mencken has sarcastic and witty opinions on just about everything.
This is a classic edition of the great writer.
This set of books is a classic. Not up to the same level as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but on a level as The Moon and Sixpence. Read morePublished on August 17, 2012 by Tony Marquise Jr.
H.L. Mencken's outstanding writing talent is on full display throughout both volumes. Even when he discusses people or events that I have never heard of, his writing is such fun... Read morePublished on April 23, 2012 by M. Walters