Books: The Life and Riotous Times of H.L. Mencken by William Manchester

Today’s book recommendation is about the GOAT: H.L. Mencken. You’ve seen his quotes and heard his name, but this book will help you to fall in love with one of America’s greatest intellectual troublemakers. He was one of the first people to label himself as a libertarian. He also may have written more words than any other human in history. The author, Manchester, was a pupil of Mencken towards his end and went on to become one of the greatest biographers in the 20th century. It’s a fun read. The audible version is titled “Disturber of the Peace.”

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Before he went on to become a celebrated biographer and historian, renowned for such works as A World Lit Only by Fire, American Caesar, and The Last Lion, William Manchester worked as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun in the 1940s—and it was there that he met fellow journalist H. L. Mencken.

This book tells the story of conservative, anarchist H. L. Mencken’s life in compelling, intimate detail—and offers a uniquely personal look at the influential cultural critic and satirist who cofounded the magazines the American Mercury and the Smart Set and became a legend for his sharp and highly quotable wit.