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Vintage Mencken [Paperback]

H. L. Mencken
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.66
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Book Description

17 Mar 1990 Vintage
The anthology that spans an entire lifetime of writing by America's greatest curmudgeon, with a "flick of mischief on nearly every page."

Frequently Bought Together

Vintage Mencken + Mencken Chrestomathy (Vintage) + H.L. Mencken: Prejudices: The Complete Series (Library of America)
Price For All Three: 62.28

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; Vintage Books ed edition (17 Mar 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679728953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679728955
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorely missed! 17 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
How I wish Mencken were alive today, taking aim at all of the manifestations of American bufoonery: political correctness, television evangelists, daytime talk shows and Bill Clinton; his work would never be finished. This volume wonderfully demonstrates why he was the most influential journalist, editor, book reviewer and writer of his day. If you don't read all these essays, be sure not to miss 'The Anglo-Saxon', 'The Hills of Zion' and 'In Memoriam: W.J.B.'
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will laugh 8 April 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The Vintage Mencken, edited by Alistair Cooke, will have readers reaching for their dictionaries and laughing uproariously at the same time. Mencken, in savage and truculent language, denounces politicians, YMCA's,educational systems, American authors, police officers, and other manifestations of quackery. An excellent introduction to the work of the man called "The Sage from Baltimore."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment as Mencken goes to work. 24 May 2008
By Broga
Format:Paperback
If you enjoy polemic of a kind which scarcely exists in our politically correct, litiginious and let's be repectful to christianity society try this. Mencken makes putting the literary boot in seem so effortless - until you try it yourself. At times he seems to be writing today and his targets still exist. Erudition, passion, a flair with language we rarely see and, I have to say, occasional views which seem anachronistic and which make me cringe. But this is heroic stuff and a wonderful read. Brilliant and not a stuffy sentence although many are hilarious.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will laugh 8 April 1998
By reedj@kenyon.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Vintage Mencken, edited by Alistair Cooke, will have readers reaching for their dictionaries and laughing uproariously at the same time. Mencken, in savage and truculent language, denounces politicians, YMCA's,educational systems, American authors, police officers, and other manifestations of quackery. An excellent introduction to the work of the man called "The Sage from Baltimore."
63 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mencken was a great newspaper journalist and writer 16 April 2002
By Daniel J Bush - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Please read this book for a refreshing view from a highly intelligent author from the early 20th century...Mencken was *not* a confirmed racist - this tag was applied to him when some of his personal diaries were published and his writings were compared against the current day "PC" language test. If you were to strike up a conversation with any person 90 years ago I would think their speech would shock modern sensibilities on the race issue. In Menckin's case, I encourage you to read about his actions in the race issue - the fact that as an editor he published African-American authors when no other mainstream publications would do so. That he opposed segregation and had many friends he actively and publicly supported that were of a diverse nature religiously and racially.
If you want a good weekend read with bookends from the beginning and the end of the twentieth century, pick up "The Vintage Mencken" and "Eat the Rich" or "Parliament of Whores" from P.J. O'Rourke, the current HL Mencken scholar at the Cato Institute. You will have a refreshing libertarian infusion which will help you withstand the current New Left and Religious Right babble that is so pervasive in the media these days.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Joy 17 Aug 2005
By seekerotruth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When Paul Johnson called Mencken the "Shakespeare of American Journalism" he wasn't exagerrating. "Star-Spangled Men," for example, is one of the most brilliant and hilarious commentaries to ever be written, and it should be mandatory reading for college students. In fact, this book should be a staple of American Studies curriculae.

Just as it would be interesting and very helpful if we could have Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln around to advise us today, so would we be greatly entertained and enlightened (at the very least in the sense of having our spirits lifted) if Mencken were here to ply his craft from his charming little townhouse in Baltimore.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorely missed! 17 July 1998
By Sam Boland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
How I wish Mencken were alive today, taking aim at all of the manifestations of American bufoonery: political correctness, television evangelists, daytime talk shows and Bill Clinton; his work would never be finished. This volume wonderfully demonstrates why he was the most influential journalist, editor, book reviewer and writer of his day. If you don't read all these essays, be sure not to miss 'The Anglo-Saxon', 'The Hills of Zion' and 'In Memoriam: W.J.B.'
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vicious without being vengeful. 16 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I can't recall when I first read this--maybe 30 years ago. You just wanna write a Mencken-tinged missive to your Congressperson afterward. But Mencken could be vicious without being vengeful, something few public personae are capable of today. The piece on Valentino is incredible: the Valentino-Mencken tete-a-tete would make great theater, I think. Mencken would be really uncomfortable in today's simplified soundbyte world: here was a confirmed racist who promoted the Harlem Renaissance & condemned segregation in public places. Still, his essays on Baltimore in the 1880s, Lincoln, & chiropracty are the American language in shining armor. Anyone who wants to write well should read this. To paraphrase Keats, it's all ye need to know!
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