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My Life as Author and Editor by H. L.…

My Life as Author and Editor

by H. L. Mencken

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autobiography,usa,writing ( )
  johnclaydon | Nov 15, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067974102X, Paperback)

Any best-of list dealing with American political satire has to include H.L. Mencken, who was the country's leading social critic between the world wars. This volume of new material was written at the end of his life, well after his epochal days at the Smart Set and the American Mercury were over and his pro-German sentiments had driven him from the national stage. My Life as Author and Editor is taken from the immense unfinished manuscript that was deposited in the Enoch Pratt Free Library upon Mencken's death; in accordance with his wishes, the packet was not read for 35 years. To modern readers, it is not scandalous as much as fiercely opinionated; Mencken pulls no punches regarding the people he met and the life he led from 1896 to 1923. Fitzgerald, Dreiser, Pound, Joyce, and many others all pass under Mencken's gimlet eye. Along the way, plenty of the author's criticism is heaped on "Life in These United States," the stupidity and lack of sophistication that Mencken raged against his entire career. Better examples of Mencken's satire can be found, but as an introduction to the author's gruff charm and bombast, My Life as Author and Editor is well-suited. And, of course, it is a necessity for the devoted Mencken fan. --Michael Gerber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:07 -0400)

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