This fine biography of H. L. Mencken tells of how he rose to his unique position as comic genius and preeminent critic of American culture. It is the story of a man whose massive power of invective inspired and infuriated his contemporaries and whose popularity and unpopularity mounted with the frenzied pace of the 1920s. Mencken sounded a loud, jarring note to a world governed by conformity and never hesitated to express his contempt for every kind of hypocrite, fake, and narrowminded censor. Here also is Menckens human side, not just his rambunctious wit but also his courtesy and hospitality, his support of struggling writers, and his personal foibles. What emerges is a compelling portrait of an extraordinary man. First released in 1951, this edition includes a new introduction and final chapter.