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By H. L. Mencken

A old Treasure: the never-before, released diary of the main outspoken, iconoclastic, ferociously articulate of yank social critics -- the sui generis newspaperman, columnist for the Baltimore sunlight, editor of the yankee Mercury, and writer of the yankee Language, who used to be widespread, feared, and recognized for his cruel puncturing of smugness, his genius for deflating pomposity and pretense, his polemical brilliance. Walter Lippmann referred to as him, in 1926, "the strongest own impact in this entire new release of expert Americans."

H. L. Mencken's diary was once, at his personal request, stored sealed within the vaults of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Library for 1 / 4 of a century after his demise. The diary covers the years 1930 -- 1948, and gives a vibrant, unvarnished, occasionally stunning photograph of Mencken himself, his international, and his associates and antagonists, from Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, and William Faulkner to Franklin D. Roosevelt, for whom Mencken nourished a hatred that led to excellent and celebrated feats of invective.

From the greater than 2,000 pages of typescript that experience now come to gentle, the Mencken student Charles A. Fecher has made a beneficiant number of entries rigorously selected to maintain the entire diversity, colour, and influence of the diary. right here, complete scale, is Mencken the original observer and disturber of yank society. And the following too is Mencken the individual of wildly contradictory impulses: the skeptic who was once prey to small superstitions, the dare-all warrior who was once a hopeless hypochondriac, the loving husband and beneficiant good friend who used to be, unfortunately, a bigot.

Mencken emerges from those pages unretouched -- in the entire usually outrageous gadfly energy that made him, at his remarkable most sensible, so very important to the highbrow textile of yankee existence.

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But after a few weeks, she and Dad would always get into some nasty hollering match. It might start with Mom mentioning how short we were on cash. Then Grandma would make a snide comment about Dad being shiftless. Dad would say something about selfish old crones with more money than they knew what to do with, and soon enough they'd be face-to-face in what amounted to a full-fledged cussing contest. " Grandma would scream. " Dad would shout back. " Dad had the more inventive vocabulary, but Grandma Smith could outshout him; plus, she had the home-court advantage.

Lori was in the front seat between him and Mom, and Brian, who was in back with me, was trying to trade me half of his 3 Musketeers for half of my Mounds. Just then we took a sharp turn over some railroad tracks, the door flew open, and I tumbled out of the car. I rolled several yards along the embankment, and when I came to a stop, I was too shocked to cry, with my breath knocked out and grit and pebbles in my eyes and mouth. I lifted my head in time to watch the Green Caboose get smaller and smaller and then disappear around a bend.

We ordered. Mom chose the Seafood Delight. "You know how I love my seafood," she said. She started talking about Picasso. She'd seen a retrospective of his work and decided he was hugely overrated. All the cubist stuff was gimmicky, as far as she was concerned. He hadn't really done anything worthwhile after his Rose Period. "I'm worried about you," I said. " Her smile faded. " "I'm not rich," I said. "But I have some money. " She thought for a moment. " "I am serious. " I felt my shoulders tightening up, the way they invariably did during these conversations.

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