The Vintage Mencken 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. What was Mencken's criticism for Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?
(a) It was more about logistics and policy than stirring rhetoric.
(b) It was a slap in the face to Southern Democrats.
(c) It was more poetry than logic.
(d) It was full of racist remarks and innuendo.

2. What was the subject of Walt Whitman's "Democratic Vistas"?
(a) Whitman's argument that republicanism is much preferred to democracy.
(b) Whitman's faith in the common man to rule himself.
(c) Whitman's desire that a class of intellectuals would rise up to rule America.
(d) The awe-inspiring beauty of several places in America.

3. What was "The Art Eternal" according to Mencken?
(a) Literature.
(b) Prostitution.
(c) Portrait painting.
(d) Lying.

4. Which boat captain helped Mencken while in Cuba?
(a) Demetrio.
(b) Menocal.
(c) Ignacio.
(d) Leonhard.

5. In "Pater Patriae," which was NOT one of the reasons Mencken admired George Washington?
(a) He put his trust and authority in intellectuals and lawyers.
(b) He was not convinced of the wisdom of common people.
(c) He was tough-living, and whiskey-drinking.
(d) He could cuss up a storm.

6. What part of Mencken's work is NOT included in the volume?
(a) Mencken's political discourse of the 1920s.
(b) Mencken's nostalgic musings on Baltimore.
(c) Mencken's esoteric views on art and art history.
(d) Mencken's work on language and grammar.

7. What did Mencken think about Woodrow Wilson's biography of George Washington?
(a) It was poorly written and factually inaccurate.
(b) The biography had such a small print run as to be insignificant.
(c) He was relieved that someone finally showed George Washington for who he really was.
(d) "Woodrow Wilson couldn't shine George Washington's shoes."

8. According to the editor, why were the 1930s Mencken's "downfall"?
(a) President FDR waged a battle of personal attacks against Mencken.
(b) Mencken's severe illness limited his output.
(c) The hardships in the country changed popular sentiment.
(d) Mencken spent most of the decade in Europe.

9. What did Mencken, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, feel about the tradition of giving medals in the military?
(a) Medals should be given to common soldiers, and not just generals.
(b) Medals should be reserved just for generals, as the "idea men" of the military.
(c) Medals should be given only at the conclusion of career service.
(d) Medals should be given on a daily basis, because every day soldiers sacrifice.

10. Mencken provided what colorful phrase to describe a woman's body?
(a) A slap-happy seal.
(b) A drunken dollar-mark.
(c) A star-spangled mess.
(d) An hourglass of horrors.

11. What, according to Mencken, is "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw"?
(a) A great work of art.
(b) The allure of a woman.
(c) War.
(d) The horrible smells of Baltimore in the 1880s.

12. What was the nature of the Prince of Wales story Mencken tells in "The Art Eternal"?
(a) The Prince of Wales lied in order to protect the virtues of a woman.
(b) The Prince of Wales framed a murderer he could not imprison by lawful means.
(c) The Prince of Wales stole in order to feed his citizens.
(d) The Prince of Wales begged for alms, in order to display his humility.

13. Which was one of Mencken's criticisms for Woodrow Wilson?
(a) He took the presidential office by voter fraud and corruption.
(b) He was stuffy and puritanical.
(c) He had "never looked a common man in the eye."
(d) He had the gall to pardon Eugene Debs.

14. Which was NOT a source of loud noise in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?
(a) Iron tires hitting hard cobblestone streets.
(b) Barking dogs.
(c) Children singing and yelling in the streets.
(d) Penny candy vendors hawking their candy.

15. What moral choice faced Mencken and a cop on New Year's Day, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?
(a) A prostitute bribed the policeman.
(b) A dead man was found with a large sum of money in his pocket.
(c) They learned about a corrupt policeman, and had to decide whether to turn the man in.
(d) A man clearly beat his wife, but could not be technically arrested.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to "The Skeptic," what do women always bear?

2. What was the subject of the first Mencken-written article that was ever published?

3. Why did Mencken disagree with contemporary assessments of Abraham Lincoln?

4. According to "Text for Newspaper Days," what is modern journalism missing?

5. Charlie the policeman was charged with which task, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?

(see the answer keys)

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