• Alistair Cooke edited this volume in order to remind the world of Mencken, and share Mencken with a new generation.
• "Introduction to the Universe": Mencken's first memory was watching a carnival, which frightened him.
• "The Baltimore of the Eighties": Winters were difficult, summers were plagued by bugs, and there were terrible sounds and smells, but overall Mencken waxes nostalgic about the Baltimore of his youth.
• "Adventures of a Y.M.C.A. lad": Mencken was forced to join the Y.M.C.A. at 14, and the experience turned him off to physical activity for the rest of his life.
• "Text for Newspaper Days": Mencken grew up in a journalistic era characterized by its carefree nature, and this carefree nature is missing from modern journalism.
• "First Appearance in Print": this brief article, a news item about a recent horse robbery, was the first-ever published...
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