A Mencken Chrestomathy Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Why does Mencken admire John D. Rockefeller?
(a) For his larger-than-life lifestyle.
(b) For his political acumen.
(c) For his research foundations.
(d) For his business prowess.

2. What is Mencken's assessment of Abraham Lincoln?
(a) He was a bumbler and not fit for office.
(b) He was a hard-living chauvinist dinosaur.
(c) He was an out-and-out racist.
(d) He was a practical politician of great talent and rhetoric.

3. What kind of men has history been written by, to date?
(a) Men more interested in power than factual accuracy.
(b) The most intelligent men, and this is why history cannot be understood by most.
(c) Noble men of purpose.
(d) Third-rate, inferior men.

4. What aspect of President Grant does Mencken admire?
(a) His hard-living, genuine lifestyle.
(b) His oratorical prowess.
(c) His military prowess.
(d) His reputation for a clean, corruption-free administration.

5. How has Mencken organized his book?
(a) By subject.
(b) By length.
(c) By author.
(d) By date.

6. What does democracy ruin, according to Mencken?
(a) Wealth.
(b) Common sense.
(c) Individual greatness.
(d) The means of production.

7. What kind of men does a democracy produce?
(a) Energetic men with too much time on their hands.
(b) Noble, confident men who do not envy others.
(c) Depressing men full of nostalgia.
(d) Stupid men who can barely master the multiplication tables.

8. What is Mencken's hope for democracy?
(a) Mencken has absolutely no hope for democracy.
(b) It will finally deliver much-needed assistance to the poor.
(c) It is a self-limiting disease.
(d) It may lead to monarchy someday.

9. What is Man's one unique characteristic, per Chapter 1?
(a) Romantic feeling.
(b) Imagination.
(c) The ability to betray.
(d) Optimism.

10. What is the relationship between free will and morality?
(a) Free will creates several difficulties for morality.
(b) Free will has no relationship to morality.
(c) Free will and morality work hand in hand in a positive way.
(d) Free will is the cause as well as the effect of morality.

11. What is the subject of Chapter 7?
(a) Classical composers.
(b) Death.
(c) Taxes.
(d) Quackery.

12. What is the fundamental flaw of the democratic style of government?
(a) Over time, democracy resembles monarchy.
(b) Voting systems can never be 100% accurate.
(c) The people are not competent to govern themselves.
(d) There are simply too many intelligent people to decide between.

13. Which is NOT one of the reasons Mencken praises George Washington?
(a) He was a pious man.
(b) He scorned foreign entanglements.
(c) He enjoyed whiskey.
(d) He ignored the private morals of his neighbors.

14. Why might "reflective and skeptical men" refrain from suicide?
(a) For the great women in life.
(b) For the thrill of physical activity.
(c) For the good food in life.
(d) For the sense of humor in life.

15. Who rules American culture, according to Chapter 10?
(a) Psychologists and doctors.
(b) Quacks such as chiropractors.
(c) The learned aristocracy.
(d) The uncivilized mob.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the proper function of punishment for crimes?

2. How intelligent are women according to Mencken?

3. What do most women think of their husbands according to Mencken?

4. At what event did Mencken first personally encounter William Jennings Bryan?

5. What is Mencken's opinion of romantic love?

(see the answer keys)

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