When looking back on the career of Alan Abelson, the longtime Barron’s columnist who died last week at age 87, one gets the sense that he could have written about any subject if he had wanted to.
Mr. Abelson was known as much for his elegant prose as he was for his keen insight into the financial Read More
H.L. Mencken was proud to have coined the term word “smuthound.” He avoided shampoo and lied to women. He felt hangovers not as headaches but as “pains in the legs” and preferred beer to scotch, which made him “vaguely uneasy.”
“I drink exactly as much as I want,” he wrote, “and one drink more.”
He Read More
The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken , by Terry Teachout. HarperCollins, 410 pages, $29.95.
It’s tempting, when trying to give a sense of H.L. Mencken’s place in American literature, to reach for lofty comparisons. Alistair Cooke called him the American Voltaire; he was also a popularizer of ideas like Shaw, a foe of religion Read More