Henry Louis Mencken Quotes

Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was a German-American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. As a scholar Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial", also earned him notoriety. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements.

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Henry Louis Mencken


Good government is that which delivers the citizen from the risk of being done out of his life and property too arbitrarily and violently - one that relieves him sufficiently from the barbaric business of guarding them to enable him to engage in gent

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"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." — H. L. Mencken

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A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar

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“It is more blessed to give than receive; for example, wedding presents”

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“Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth”

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“Honor is simply the morality of superior men.”

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“What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor”

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“Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time”

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“Wherefore, Nietzsche concluded that the chief characteristic of a moral system was its tendency to perpetuate itself unchanged, and to destroy all who questioned it or denied it”

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“Time is the great legalizer, even in the field of morals.”

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“Time is a great legalizer, even in the field of morals”

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“You come into the world with nothing, and the purpose of your life is to make something out of nothing”

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“So few men are really worth knowing, that it seems a shameful waste to let an anthropoid prejudice stand in the way of free association with one who is”

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“Criticism is prejudice made plausible.”

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“We suffer most when the White House busts with ideas”

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