H. L. Mencken
Prejudices: The Complete Series (boxed set)
“To read the six original Prejudices is to come closer to the Mencken who once bestrode the republic of American letters like a destroying angel.”
“It took me nearly a dozen years of rummaging through used bookstores in numerous states to find all six of the original Prejudices volumes. Now The Library of America edition brings these works back to life.”
Read an exclusive interview with volume editor Marion Elizabeth Rodgers (PDF, 97 KB)
Read an excerpt, "Three American Immortals," on Emerson, Poe, and Whitman (PDF, 31KB)
Read an excerpt, "Authorship as a Trade" and "Authors as Persons," from "The Fringes of Lovely Letters" (PDF, 56KB)
H. L. Mencken was the most provocative and influential journalist and cultural critic in twentieth-century America. To read him is to be plunged into an era whose culture wars were easily as ferocious as those of our own day, in the company of a writer of boundless curiosity and vivacious frankness.
In the six volumes of Prejudices (1919–1927), Mencken attacked what he felt to be American provincialism and hypocrisy, and championed writers and thinkers he saw as harbingers of a new candor and maturity. Laced with savage humor and delighting in verbal play, Mencken’s prose remains a one-of-a-kind roller coaster ride over a staggering range of thematic territory: literature and journalism, politics and religion, sex and marriage, food and drink, music and painting, the absurdities of Prohibition and the dismal state of American higher education, and the relative merits of Baltimore and New York. Irreverent portraits of such major contemporaries as Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, and William Dean Howells contrast with explorations of fascinating byways of American culture in a time of tumultuous and often combative transition.See the complete table of contents for volume 1
See the complete table of contents for volume 2
Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, volume editor, is the author of Mencken: The American Iconoclast and editor of Mencken and Sara: A Life in Letters and The Impossible H. L. Mencken.
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