As a scholar, Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States. As an admirer of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, he was an outspoken opponent of organized religion, theism, populism, and representative democracy, the last of which he viewed as a system in which inferior men dominated their superiors.Mencken was a supporter of scientific progress and was critical of osteopathy and chiropractic. He was also an open critic of economics.
Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes Trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial," also gained him attention.
In 1930, Mencken married Sara Haardt, a German-American professor of English at Goucher College in Baltimore and an author eighteen years his junior.
Mencken died in his sleep on January 29, 1956.He was interred in Baltimore's Loudon Park Cemetery.
Books by H.L Mencken
In Defence of Women
In Defense of Women is H. L. Mencken’s 1918 book on women and the relationship between the sexes. Some laud the book as progressive while others brand it as reactionary. While Mencken didn’t champion women’s rights, he described women as wiser in man...
The American Language
The American Language; An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, first published in 1919, is H. L. Mencken's book about the English language as spoken in the United States.
Prejudices, First Series
The late war, very unpopular at the start, was “sold” to them, as the advertising phrase has it, by representing it as a campaign for the salvation of democracy, half religious and wholly altruistic. So represented to them, they embraced it; represen...
Damn! A Book of Calumny
In Damn! A Book of Calumny, H.L. Mencken gives his opinion on a wide variety of subjects ranging from William Jennings Bryan, through Classical Music, to Zoos.
The American Credo
American Credo: A Contribution to the Interpretation of the National Mind is a clever, cynical assault published in 1920 by Mencken and his co-author, a drama critic named George Jean Nathan with whom he would co-found The American Mercury in 1924. I...