Notes on Democracy: A New Edition

Overview

The perfect book for the 2012 elections. . . and beyond!

[Democracy] is based on propositions that are palpably not true—and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true...

H.L. Mencken wrote Notes on Democracy over 80 years ago. His time, the paranoid and intolerant years of World War I, Prohibition, and the Scopes ...

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Overview

The perfect book for the 2012 elections. . . and beyond!

[Democracy] is based on propositions that are palpably not true—and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true...

H.L. Mencken wrote Notes on Democracy over 80 years ago. His time, the paranoid and intolerant years of World War I, Prohibition, and the Scopes trial, is strikingly like our own. Notes isn't just a blast from the past; it's a perceptive report on today.

In Notes, Mencken conducts a bold, libertarian attack on intrusive government, special interest groups, and mob rule that's as relevant today as it was in the 1920s.

Notes has something that will appeal to — and offend — everyone. Liberals will love Mencken's denunciation of jingoism; conservatives and libertarians will root for his attacks on meddling laws, hand-outs, and equality.

The new edition includes an introduction and annotations by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, author of Mencken: The American Iconoclast, and an afterword by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Lewis.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780977378814
  • Publisher: Dissident Books, Ltd
  • Publication date: 10/15/2008
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mencken (1880-1956) was America's greatest journalist. With his cynical humor, he skewered big government, Puritanism, and sanctimony. Mencken was politically incorrect before the phrase was coined. With his misanthropic snobbery, he offends across the political spectrum. Libertarians consider him a patron saint. His works are still read today and he is the subject of two recent biographies.

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Table of Contents


Introduction Marion Elizabeth Rodgers 7 I Democratic Man
1 His Appearance in the World 29
2 Varieties of Homo Sapiens 32
3 The New Psychology 36
4 Politics Under Democracy 40
5 The Role of the Hormones 44
6 Envy as a Philosophy 48
7 Liberty and Democratic Man 53
8 The Effects Upon Progress 57
9 The Eternal Mob 65 II The Democratic State
1 The Two Kinds of Democracy 71
2 The Popular Will 74
3 Disproportional Representation 81
4 The Politician Under Democracy 87
5 Utopia 92
6 The Occasional Exception 97
7 The Maker of Laws 101
8 The Rewards of Virtue 105
9 Footnote on Lame Ducks 110 III Democracy and Liberty
1 The Will to Peace 117
2 The Democrat as Moralist 120
3 Where Puritanism Fails 128
4 Corruption Under Democracy 134 IV Coda
1 The Future of Democracy 147
2 Last Words 154 Annotations Marion Elizabeth Rodgers 159 Afterword Anthony Lewis 205
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    History repeating itself

    Who is H.L. Mencken and why am I just now reading him!? This book is genius! I started highlighting passages I liked but then realized nearly every page was marked in florescent pink.

    I'm not going to say this book is for everyone but it is definitely for those of us out there that watch the news and listen to certain groups or leaders thinking, "Seriously are there people out there buying this?" Then we come into contact with those who are in fact subscribing whole-heartily to an idiotic brainless existence. Left dumbfounded we trudge along wondering if there are any 'real' people left in the world.

    The world was a completely different place in 1926 when Mencken originally wrote this but it doesn't' take long to realize despite our innovations and advancements nearly 100 years later we've made no real progress in terms of democracy. Mencken's insights serve as a reminder to that fact and while the organizations may have changed and the leaders all have new names they are in essence the same.

    "Public policies are determined and laws are made by small minorities playing upon the fears and imbecilities of the mob-sometimes minorities of intelligent and honest men, but usually minorities of rogues." Hmmmm, rogues you say? Remind you of anyone?

    If you are of a thinking mind I highly recommend this book but be warned it reads like a philosophy book so if you think you can just pick it up and read a few chapters you're wrong. It will have you thinking and a buzz with every paragraph so make sure you have a good sounding board to bounce ideas off of after reading.

    (I received this book as part of a giveaway on Goodreads.com I was not in anyway encouraged to give a review that didn't reflect my genuine feelings towards the book.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Notes on Democracy is timely,as 2012 is a presidential campaign & election year. Today's campaigns would create fodder for his articles. Mr.Menchen might decline a postion as a TV news analyst or blogger. At least for a day, I want to read or listen to his views on our present candidates. political ads, etc.

    The footnotes are detailed & helpful. I recommend the book for those 18 & older,future politicans, & those seeking to be reelected.

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  • Posted March 6, 2010

    A Century Old But Still Timely

    Notes on Democracy is amazingly timely notwithstanding that close to a century has passed since it first appeared. The news today is filled with examples of politicians' dishonesty, immoral acts and illogical actions. The work is somewhat depressing since Mencken's view of mankind is negative-everyone is dumb, dishonest and driven by fear. Yet, the book should be read for its incisive analysis of political actions and Mencken's command of the English language is awesome.

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