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Mencken: The American Iconoclast, Part Two: The Life and Times of the Bad Boy of Baltimore

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  17 reviews
H. L. Mencken was the twentieth century's greatest newspaper journalist, a famous wit, a constant figure of controversy, and a famed ladies man. Rodgers reveals both the public and the private man within the context of his era and within the context of his own paradoxical views.
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Published October 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2005)
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Matthew W
How ironic that the most extensive biography covering the controversial life of the author of "In Defense of Women" was written by a beautiful woman. Marion Elizabeth Rodgers has no doubt written the most intimate(using mainly primary sources) work on the life of Baltimore's greatest sage H.L. Mencken. I am sure Mencken would have been flattered to have read Rodger's wonderful book.
George
WONDERFULLY ICONOCLASTIC.

“He pummeled censorship, Prohibition, and hypocritical Puritanism with equal ardor. The defense of individual freedom always brought out the best of his powers, and the suppression of civil liberties became one of his dominant targets, bringing it more fully into the mainstream of public discourse.”—page 227/673

Standard disclaimer: In my personal pantheon of heroes, Henry Louis Mencken has long been idealized, lionized, and even damn near canonized, as one of the all-tim
...more
Andrew
A biography of Mencken that updates ones by William Manchester and Charles A. Fecher. It underscores the popularity of the iconoclast in the beginning of the 20th Century for his stands on censorship, Prohibition, evangelicals -- and particularly his American literary criticism. Later he would become rabidly anti-government (or anti-New Deal) and gradually become disengaged from popular culture because of his dislike of movies, radio and television.

In a sense Henry L. Mencken was a Victorian pro
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deLille
My husband is laughing because my copy of this book has oodles of different colored sticky tabs sticking out from the different pages, each one marking something that Mencken said that I wanted to highlight. (Yes, I know, it's time to get a Kindle and electronically highlight all those passages, but I can't help myself. I just love books. Each one has its own personality... its feel, its heft, its typeset, the texture and smell of its pages... all of this is lost on a Kindle.)

I absolutely loved
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Voices Of
I just finished reading this book and if you want to learn about one of the most influential journalists of the early 20th century this is a great place to start. Mencken was a consistent defender of freedom of speech and particularly the freedom (and responsibility) of the press to question the actions of those in power. He was constantly a gadfly to the media inciting them to be skeptical of the motives of our leaders. Quite an interesting man. This book was written well enough that it did...m ...more
Josh
I just finished reading this book and if you want to learn about one of the most influential journalists of the early 20th century this is a great place to start. Mencken was a consistent defender of freedom of speech and particularly the freedom (and responsibility) of the press to question the actions of those in power. He was constantly a gadfly to the media inciting them to be skeptical of the motives of our leaders. Quite an interesting man. This book was written well enough that it did not ...more
Robert Maier
The tale of Mencken's life is fascinating and illuminating. The writing is a little disjointed and the time periods are frequently interwoven, and you get off track. It's a book written by a thorough researcher, who never quite grasped how to juggle simultaneous events into a smooth narrative arc. She makes a valiant try, but maybe the editors were too much in a hurry to get it out, and just abandoned the attempts for chronological clarity for the sake of expediency. In his own books, Mencken ma ...more
Pnorman811
I've been reading this slowly for months. It is a good introduction to the man. He has so much to offer in his views of the U.S in the early last century and of people in general. I will probably be exploring books written BY him and about him in the future.
W.T.
THE BAD-BOY OF BALTIMORE!!! Hunter Thompson had a great admiration for this man as he fought against censorship long before it was hip. My admiration for Thompson got me reading into the people that he admired...Thanks to The Good Doctor.
Jeff
I haven't given a book five stars since creating my Goodreads account, so now is as good a time as any.

Mencken, like me, was a big fan of the word "mountebank".
Thombeau
Extremely readable, fact-filled bio on the influential and controversial writer and pundit H.L. Mencken. Seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Susan
Interesting life, but I can only get through a few pages a night - so it's good bedside reading.
Gmnielsen
I haven't read a biography in a long time. This one makes me want to read more Mencken.
Scott Silverman
Hits all the right notes. Take Twain, add acid-- enjoy Mencken.
John
Excellent. One of the best biographies I've ever read.
Casey72
I've read three biographies on this person!
David
The best bio I've ever read.....
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The Impossible H.L. Mencken: A Selection of His Best Newspaper Stories Mencken and Sara: A Life in Letters Prejudices: The Complete Series Prejudices: First, Second, and Third Series (Library of America #206) Prejudices: Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Series (Library of America #207)

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