H. L. Mencken

Listed in: Journalism · Essays · American Literature · Literary Studies




A Saturnalia of Bunk · Selections from The Free Lance, 1911–1915
By H. L. Mencken · Edited by S. T. Joshi

H. L. Mencken’s reputation as a journalist and cultural critic of the twentieth century has endured well into the twenty-first. His early contributions as a writer, however, are not very well known. He began his journalistic career as early as 1899 and in 1910 cofounded the Baltimore Evening Sun.

“This is the latest of Joshi’s important contributions to the broadening of Mencken’s general audience, at a time when the Sage of Baltimore’s star is once again on the rise. Thanks to collections like this, he is reclaiming his position as America’s greatest journalist and (next only to his idol Twain) its greatest humorist and satirist.”

Richard J. Schrader, author of H.L. Mencken: A Documentary Volume




H. L. Mencken was one of the leading literary, social, and cultural critics of the 1910s, '20s, and '30s. However, very few of his literary reviews have been reprinted in any form prior to their appearance in this volume. H. L. Mencken on American Literature presents a comprehensive selection of Mencken's reviews of the leading American writers of his time.