Religious Orgy in Tennessee A Reporter's Account of the Scopes Monkey Trial

ISBN-10: 1933633174
ISBN-13: 9781933633176
Edition: 2006
List price: $19.95 Buy it from $7.41
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Description: "The native American Voltaire, the enemy of all puritans, the heretic in the Sunday school, the one-man demolition crew of the genteel tradition."-Alistair Cooke Fiercely intelligent, scathingly honest, and hysterically funny, H.L. Mencken's  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication date: 9/1/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 5.75" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

"The native American Voltaire, the enemy of all puritans, the heretic in the Sunday school, the one-man demolition crew of the genteel tradition."-Alistair Cooke Fiercely intelligent, scathingly honest, and hysterically funny, H.L. Mencken's coverage of the Scopes Monkey Trial so galvanized the nation that it eventually inspired a Broadway play and hit movie. Mencken's no-nonsense sensibility is still exciting: his perceptive rendering of the courtroom drama; his piercing portrayals of key figures Scopes, Clarence Darrow, and William Jennings Bryan; his ferocious take on the fundamentalist culture surrounding it all-including a raucous midnight trip into the woods to witness a secret "holy roller" service. Shockingly, these reports have never been gathered together into a book of their own-until now. A Religious Orgy in Tennessee includes all of Mencken's reports for The Baltimore Sun, The Nation, and The American Mercury. It even includes his coverage of Bryan's death just days after the trial-an obituary so withering Mencken was forced to rewrite it (both versions are included, although the rewrite seems, if anything, even less forgiving). With the rise of "intelligent design," Mencken's work has never seemed more unnervingly timely-or timeless.

H. L. Mencken 1880-1956 H. L. (Henry Louis) Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880. He considered Maryland to be his home despite his many years in New York. As a child he attended Professor Friedrich Knapp's Institute, a private school for children of German descent. He completed his secondary education at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, from which he graduated at the age of 16. Mencken wanted to be a writer but was obligated to work in his father's cigar factory. When his father died suddenly in 1899, Mencken immediately sought a job at the Baltimore Herald. Through he began with no experience in journalism, he quickly learned every job at the newspaper and at age 25 became its editor. Mencken went on to build himself a reputation as one of America's most brilliant writers and literary critics. His basic approach was to question everything and to accept no limits on personal freedom. He attacked organized religion, American cultural and literary standards, and every aspect of American life that he found shallow, ignorant, or false - which was almost everything. From the 1920's until his death, Mencken's sharp wit and penetrating social commentary made him one of the most highly regarded - and fiercely hated - of American social critics. He was later memorialized in the dramatic portrait of the cynical journalist in the play and film Inherit the Wind. Shortly after World War I, Mencken began a project that was to fascinate him for the rest of his life: a study of American language and how it had evolved from British English. In 1919 he published The American Language: A Preliminary Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States. To this and his publisher's surprise, the book sold out quickly; its wit and nonscholarly approach attracted many readers who would not normally buy a book on such a subject. In 1936, a revised and enlarged edition was published, and in 1945 and 1948, supplements were added. The work shows not only how American English differs from British English but how the 300 year American experience shaped American dialect. Thus the book, still considered a classic in its field, is both a linguistic and social history of the United States. Mencken died in his sleep on January 29, 1956. He was interred in Baltimore's Loudon Park Cemetery.

Introduction
The Tennessee Circus
Homo Neanderthalensis
In Tennessee
Mencken Finds Daytonians Full of Sickening Doubts About Value of Publicity
Impossibility of Obtaining Fair Jury Insures Scopes' Conviction, Says Mencken
Mencken Likens Trial to a Religious Orgy, with Defendant a Beelzebub
Yearning Mountaineers' Souls Need Reconversion Nightly, Mencken Finds
Darrow's Eloquent Appeal Wasted on Ears That Heed Only Bryan, Says Mencken
Law and Freedom, Mencken Discovers, Yield Place to Holy Writ in Rhea County
Mencken Declares Strictly Fair Trial Is Beyond Ken of Tennessee Fundamentalists
Malone the Victor, Even Though Court Sides with Opponents, Says Mencken
Battle Now Over, Mencken Sees; Genesis Triumphant and Ready for New Jousts
Tennessee in the Frying Pan
Bryan
Round Two
Aftermath
To Expose a Fool
Photographs
The Examination of William Jennings Bryan

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