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Books: Unregenerate Iconoclast

A MENCKEN CHRESTOMATHY (627 pp.) —H. L. Mencken—Knopf ($5).

For nearly half a century many a U.S. citizen has devoutly wished that Henry Louis Mencken would shut up. In all that time, he has been hushed only twice. From 1917 to 1919, the blocky bad man of U.S. letters refused to write under wartime censorship. Then, last November, a severe stroke (cerebral hemorrhage) left the 68-year-old gadfly partially paralyzed and stilled his buzzing. But not entirely. Even as he was brought to a halt, his latest book was in the printer's hands. It will...

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