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.'
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."
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.