ist, magazine editor, satirist
, acerbic critic
of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore
", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists
of the first half of the 20th century. Many of his books are still in print.
Mencken is known for writing The American Language
, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial
, which he named the "Monkey" trial.
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.
Progress: The process whereby the human race has got rid of whiskers, the wikipedia:vermiform appendix | vermiform appendix and God.
Truth would quickly cease to be stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it.
Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.
Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and W:Sacerdotalism|sacerdotalism.
School teachers, taking them by and large, are probably the most ignorant and stupid class of men in the whole group of mental workers.
Philadelphia is the most wikt:pecksniffian|pecksniffian of American cities, and thus probably leads the world.