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Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work: A Memoir

Overview

"No greater prose stylist ever wrote for an American newspaper. It is always useful and enjoyable to be reminded of this, as Thirty-five Years of Newspaper Work most certainly does... Should be required reading not merely for all newspaper people but for all those who labor in what we now call 'the media.'" -- Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

In January 1991 the Enoch Pratt Free Library opened the sealed manuscript of H. L. Mencken's "Thirty-five Years of Newspaper Work." Written in 1941-42 and ...

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Signed by editor Vincent Fitzpatrick, curator of the HL Mencken Collection at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. Hardcover and dust jacket. Good binding and cover. Clean, ... unmarked pages. Ships daily. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"No greater prose stylist ever wrote for an American newspaper. It is always useful and enjoyable to be reminded of this, as Thirty-five Years of Newspaper Work most certainly does... Should be required reading not merely for all newspaper people but for all those who labor in what we now call 'the media.'" -- Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

In January 1991 the Enoch Pratt Free Library opened the sealed manuscript of H. L. Mencken's "Thirty-five Years of Newspaper Work." Written in 1941-42 and bequeathed to the library under time-lock upon Mencken's death in 1956, it is among the very last of his papers opened to the public. Thirty-five Years of Newspaper Work, a one-volume edition of highlights from the manuscript, vividly pictures the excitement of newspaper life in the heyday of print journalism.

Here Mencken colorfully recalls his years--mostly with the Baltimore Evening Sun--as a reporter and a writer of editorials that always caused a stir among the public and riots of indignation among his enemies. The volume includes important new material on his coverage of presidential candidates from 1912 to 1940 and the 1925 trial of the man he called the "infidel Scopes."

"The book reveals a man who loved food, alcohol, cigars, and good friends... Mencken had so many friends in high places that a few well-placed telephone calls invariably got him to the heart of the matter and revealed more information than any other reporter could solicit." -- Raymond L. Fischer, USA Today

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mencken (1880-1956) was not merely a prolific writer (books, magazines, newspapers) but a prodigious self-chronicler: this abridged version of a narrative completed in the early 1940s and delivered to Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library under time lock at Mencken's death was only recently made available to the public. In chronological order, Mencken confidently recalls his encounters with national politics, the Scopes trial, local controversies and newspaper policy makers during his 35 years at the Baltimore Sun family of papers. Although Mencken's lively language-``Wilsonistas,'' ``hired whoopers,'' ``ex-best girl''-animates his prose, this book will be useful only to those already familiar with his life and work. Hobson wrote Mencken: A Life, Fitzpatrick is assistant curator of the Mencken Collection at the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Jacobs is former editorial page editor of the Baltimore Sun. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In 1991 the Enoch Pratt Free Library of Baltimore opened the sealed manuscript of Mencken's three-volume memoir, which has now been substantially edited by three scholars for this single-volume publication. Written in 1941-42, Mencken's memoirs begin with his first association with the Baltimore Sun newspapers in 1906. Mencken wrote for the papers for the next 35 years, always demanding and encouraging the production of the best newspaper possible. Mixed in with his gossipy appraisal of fellow journalists are his views on a wide variety of social and political issues. One of the highlights of the book is his colorful coverage of political conventions from the 1920s to 1940. In his lively suspicion of all government, Mencken brings a critical eye and an acerbic wit to his description of politics and politicians. This book will be a welcome addition to libraries with journalism or Mencken collections.-Judy Solberg, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park
Booknews
Written in 1941-42 and bequeathed to the Enoch Pratt Free Library under time-lock upon Mencken's death in 1956, this one-volume abridgement of Mencken's memoir was among the last of his papers opened to the public. Mencken colorfully recalls his early years with the Baltimore Evening Sun as a reporter and writer of controversial editorials, and describes his brief stint as a war correspondent on Germany's Eastern Front in 1917 and his journey back through Havana during the start of a revolution. Includes Mencken's typically unflattering portraits of the politicians and clerics he despised. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801847912
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1994
  • Series: Maryland Paperback Bookshelf Ser.
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Hobson is professor of American literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of Mencken: A Life and Serpent in Eden: H. L. Mencken and the South. Vincent Fitzpatrick is assistant curator of the Mencken Collection at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and the author of H. L. Mencken. Bradford Jacobs is former editorial page editor of the Baltimore Evening Sun and the author of Thimbleriggers: The Law v. Governor Marvin Mandel.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Note on the Manuscript and Editorial Method
Chronology
Dramatis Personae
Preface 1
1 Young Editor Out of a Job, 1906-1910 7
2 Prime Minister Without Portfolio, 1910-1914 26
3 Minority of One, 1914-1919 52
4 My Ex-Best Girl Has Designs on You, 1919-1920 75
5 Fruits of Versailles, 1920-1922 100
6 That Man in Baltimore, 1922-1924 117
7 Make Tennessee Forever Infamous, 1925 136
8 Grand Tour of the South, 1925-1926 150
9 The Knavish Dishonesty of Politicians, 1928 163
10 No Desire to Be Admired by Morons, 1929-1931 187
11 Prohibition Was on the Rocks, 1932-1934 213
12 Battle in the Grand Manner, 1934 238
13 Snake Charmers, 1933-1937 265
14 A Chapter Had Ended, 1937-1939 300
15 Leaving the Stage, 1939-1941 324
Appendix A. An Editorial Memorandum (1919) 355
Appendix B. Gridiron Club Speech, December 8, 1934 368
Epilogue 373
Acknowledgments 377
Index 379
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