Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Do we need another Mencken?

Imagine an America when a writer occupied the rarified air in the public consciousness that movie stars and athletes do today. A man who believed first and foremost in freedom, writing: "I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty."

It was the 1920s and H. L. Mencken was both America's favorite pundit and literary critic. He was a journalist, satirist and social critic, a cynic and a freethinker, known as either the "Sage of Baltimore" or the "Bad Boy of Baltimore." While he is often regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the early 20th century, sadly, many people today, even those considered educated, have never heard of Mencken.

One of the great joys in life is to read Mencken. Although he was writing about politicians of 80 years ago, his work is timeless, with insights still relevant today, maybe even more so. Mencken knew where America was headed long before it got there.
More on Mencken.

Mencken on the Scope's trial aftermath where he lamblasted some liberal publications as well as the religiously superstitious.


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