The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken

3.86 avg rating
( 197 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780060505295: The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken

When H. L. Mencken talked, everyone listened -- like it or not. In the Roaring Twenties, he was the one critic who mattered, the champion of a generation of plain-speaking writers who redefined the American novel, and the ax-swinging scourge of the know-nothing, go-getting middle-class philistines whom he dubbed the "booboisie." Some loved him, others loathed him, but everybody read him. Now Terry Teachout takes on the man Edmund Wilson called "our greatest practicing literary journalist," brilliantly capturing all of Mencken's energy and erudition, passion and paradoxes, in a masterful biography of this iconoclastic figure and the world he shaped.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Journalist, muckraker, political gadfly, atheist, and conservative dissident, H.L. Mencken "was to the first part of the twentieth century what Mark Twain was to the last part of the nineteenth--the quintessential voice of American letters." So says the eminent critic Terry Teachout in this landmark biography, which explores why Mencken has been largely forgotten today.

Mencken held to ideas that history was busily sweeping aside. He railed against the growing power of the federal government in the early years of the Roosevelt administration, insisting on an elitist brand of politics that favored the "superior man." He advocated an isolationist course in world affairs, even as totalitarian powers swallowed up whole nations; he agitated against progressive domestic causes; and, albeit ironically, he proposed that capital punishment be turned into a public entertainment. Yet he wrote some of the best, most cruelly entertaining journalism of his time, reporting on great trials, minor crimes, and political conventions, skewering received opinion.

Mencken was "something more than a memorable stylist, if something less than a wise man," Teachout concludes. This careful portrait--the first full-length biography to appear in more than 30 years--gives ample evidence for that verdict. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Terry Teachout writes about literature and the arts for the New York Times, Time, National Review, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Commentary. His books include A Second Mencken Chrestomaby, a manuscript he rediscovered among Mencken's private papers. He lives in New York City.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Teachout, Terry
Published by Harper Perennial 2003-11-04 (2003)
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
ThriftTaco
(INDIAN TRAIL, NC, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial 2003-11-04, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 006050529X Brand new and ships pronto! Multiple quantities available. Bookseller Inventory # BOOKS92-9780060505295-11-1359

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 4.74
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Terry Teachout
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800605052950000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.71
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Teachout, Terry
Published by Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 006050529X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.35
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Teachout, Terry
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2003. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VC-9780060505295

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.88
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Teachout, Terry
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2003. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780060505295

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.89
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Teachout, Terry
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Item doesn't include CD/DVD. Bookseller Inventory # 1098379

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.63
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Terry Teachout
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2004)
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. When H. L. Mencken talked, everyone listened -- like it or not. In the Roaring Twenties, he was the one critic who mattered, the champion of a generation of plain-speaking writers who redefined the American novel, and the ax-swinging scourge of the know-nothing, go-getting middle-class philistines whom he dubbed the booboisie. Some loved him, others loathed him, but everybody read him. Now Terry Teachout takes on the man Edmund Wilson called our greatest practicing literary journalist, brilliantly capturing all of Mencken s energy and erudition, passion and paradoxes, in a masterful biography of this iconoclastic figure and the world he shaped. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060505295

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Terry Teachout
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2004)
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. When H. L. Mencken talked, everyone listened -- like it or not. In the Roaring Twenties, he was the one critic who mattered, the champion of a generation of plain-speaking writers who redefined the American novel, and the ax-swinging scourge of the know-nothing, go-getting middle-class philistines whom he dubbed the booboisie. Some loved him, others loathed him, but everybody read him. Now Terry Teachout takes on the man Edmund Wilson called our greatest practicing literary journalist, brilliantly capturing all of Mencken s energy and erudition, passion and paradoxes, in a masterful biography of this iconoclastic figure and the world he shaped. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060505295

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.40
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Teachout, Terry
Published by Harper Perennial (2003)
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Paperback Quantity Available: 9
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 006050529X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Terry Teachout
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2004)
ISBN 10: 006050529X ISBN 13: 9780060505295
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. When H. L. Mencken talked, everyone listened -- like it or not. In the Roaring Twenties, he was the one critic who mattered, the champion of a generation of plain-speaking writers who redefined the American novel, and the ax-swinging scourge of the know-nothing, go-getting middle-class philistines whom he dubbed the booboisie. Some loved him, others loathed him, but everybody read him. Now Terry Teachout takes on the man Edmund Wilson called our greatest practicing literary journalist, brilliantly capturing all of Mencken s energy and erudition, passion and paradoxes, in a masterful biography of this iconoclastic figure and the world he shaped. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780060505295

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book