In 1947, William Manchester met celebrated journalist, editor, and "conservative anarchist" H.L. Mencken while working for The Baltimore Sun. The later biography he wrote established Manchester's reputation as a writer and political commentator. Here, Manchester brings Mencken's world to life in vivid, compelling prose.

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 Manchester’s reputation as a skilled writer, biographer, and political commentator.

This book tells the story of “conservative anarchist” H.L. Mencken’s life in compelling detail–a story that’s energetic, controversial, and surprisingly intimate. Crafted in vivid prose, William Manchester brings Mencken’s 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.

“Manchester’s 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

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Author Description

William Manchester (1922-2004) was a journalist, Professor of History Emeritus at Wesleyan University, and the best-selling author of several noted histories, novels, and biographies. Notable works include The Last Lion, a biography of Winston Churchill spanning several volumes; American Caesar, on the life of Douglas MacArthur; The Arms of Krupp, A World Lit Only By Fire; and The Death of a President. His awards include the Dag Hammarskjold International Literary Prize, the National Humanities Medal, the Abraham Lincoln Literary Award, and the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.


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