In 1947, a young William Manchester--the man who would later become a celebrated biographer, historian, and novelist--was working as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. It was there that he met fellow journalist H.L. Mencken, the influential writer and cofounder of the magazines The American Mercury and The Smart Set. While attending the University of Missouri, Manchester tackled Mencken as the subject of his Masters thesis. When the resulting biography was published on the wider market in 1951, it made a splash--establishing Manchesters reputation as a skilled writer, biographer, and political commentator.
This book tells the story of conservative anarchist H.L. Menckens life in compelling detail--a story thats energetic, controversial, and surprisingly intimate. Crafted in vivid prose, William Manchester brings Menckens world to life.
William Manchester was the most popular and highly regarded historian and biographer of his time--and this powerful book supports that reputation.
Manchesters book is written with verve, intellectual sophistication, and a prickly wit worthy of its eminent subject.... [The Life and Riotous Times of H.L. Mencken] performs a considerable service for American intellectual history. It is, besides, a first-class piece of literate entertainment. --The New Yorker