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Download Disturber of the Peace, Second Edition: The Life of H. L. Mencken Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Disturber of the Peace, Second Edition: The Life of H. L. Mencken, by William Manchester Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (44 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Manchester Narrator: Anthony Heald Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This fine biography of H. L. Mencken tells of how, for better or worse, he rose to his unique position as comic genius and preeminent critic of American culture.

In Disturber of the Peace, one finds the facts of the stormy Mencken legend: his hectic and hilarious editorship with George Jean Nathan of The Smart Set, the memorable saga of The American Mercury, the famous Scopes “monkey trial” in Tennessee, and Mencken’s own trial in Boston when The American Mercury was banned. Here 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 narrow-minded censor. Mencken also had a human side, which Manchester details—not just his rambunctious wit and pungent criticism but also his courtesy and hospitality, the warmth of his friendships, his support of many struggling writers, and his personal foibles and weaknesses. What emerges from this highly readable biography is a compelling portrait of an extraordinary man.

Originally published in 1951, this second edition includes a new introduction by the author and a new final chapter, “My Old Man,” which recounts in moving terms his own experiences as a friend and protégé of Mencken in his later years.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Manchester’s book is written with verve, intellectual sophistication, and a prickly wit worthy of its eminent subject…A first-class piece of literate entertainment.”

    New Yorker

  • “Narrator Anthony Heald takes on a saucy attitude for the descriptions of Mencken’s milieu…He seems to thumb his nose at the world, just as H. L. did.”


Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Chris | 7/4/2013

    " I love me a Manchester book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Rich Merritt | 6/18/2013

    " One of the top five literary characters in American history written by my favorite biographer. This book was pure dessert. Loved every word of it. Manchester was a protege of Mencken's but that doesn't stop him from detailing the old man's faults, which are the best part of him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Geo Forman | 5/6/2013

    " what a great curmudgeon. I like someone willing to thumb his nose at anyone who takes themselves too seriously, especially narrow-minded people. good biography of the cynic who famously covered the Scopes Monkey trial "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jonfaith | 12/14/2012

    " I read this on a cold Sunday while we were still at our old house, in fact I read 30 pages walking back from the library. "

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