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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "H.L. Mencken the Journalist" (1991) Summary & Analysis

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Although Henry Louis (H.L.) Mencken's views would probably make him politically and socially "incorrect" in today's world, he was an exemplar of the old-style newspaper journalist that swaggered through the American scene "from century's turn to mid-century's television," Vidal observes. A cigar-chomping, outspoken German-American who looked like a vaudeville figure, Mencken wrote for the Baltimore Sun for a half-century; his beat was America. Mencken "described the show. He reveled in absurdity; found no bonnet entirely bee-less. He loved the national bores for their own sweet sake."

Mencken wrote during a time when there was still a public educational system and "the average person could probably get through a newspaper without numb lips," Vidal says. "Today, half the American population no longer reads newspapers...

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This section contains 389 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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