DISTURBER OF THE PEACE

LIFE OF H.L. MENCKEN

The life, and lifelong battles with the dragons of complacency and cave level thinking, as they were conducted by the wise, witty and caustic sage of Baltimore who as a newspaperman, magazine editor and philologist became one of the most important forces in the last half century of American literature. Here are the early restive days in the family cigar business; the break into newspaper work which Mencken recorded in his trilogy. Later, with the American literary renaissance, the wild days of editorship on The Smart Set with George Jean Nathan when hilarity often hid H.L.'s real contributions to the breaking down of Pollyanna-ism in American letters, and his early drumbeating for Dreiser, Cabell, Shaw, Conrad and Ibsen. The '20's brought the original American Mercury, Mencken's test case with Boston's Watch and Warders, and his brilliant reportage of the Scopes Trial in Tennessee. The depression saw Mencken's temporary eclipse when he found himself out of touch and sympathy with a whole new generation, to be followed by his resurgence into favor with his trilogy and his monumental The American Language, etc. Written by a staff writer of the Baltimore Sun, this biography is never dull or blindly laudatory, records an exceptional figure in exceptionally readable terms. A must for Menckenites.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 1950

ISBN: 0870235435

Page Count: 348

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1950

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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