If Mencken Would Return….

The American Mercury Magazine was published by Willis Carto from 1966 through 1979. It was founded by the famous H.L.Mencken in 1922 and was published under various ownerships after Mencken retired.

Editorial in the American Mercury:  Fifty years ago, H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan embarked on the adventure The American Mercury. This issue thus marks the completion of the first fifty years…

By Willis A. Carto – Published in the American Mercury, Spring 1974 issue:

FIFTY YEARS AGO H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan embarked on the adventure of THE AMERICAN MERCURY. This issue thus marks the completion of the first fifty years and the beginning of the next. The world has much changed during this past half century. In fact, the pace and the magnitude of change have been revolutionary and the events have moved and jarred men with such shock that a hundred years of quiet adjustment would scarcely suffice for stability to reassert itself.

In 1924 America was still emerging from the vast economic and social strains of the World War and her futile, ignorant intervention into the hopeless swamps of internationalism. It was years before the stock market crash, the depression and the rise of Hitler. It was seven years after the Bolshevik triumph and nine years before the government of the U.S.S.R. was legitimized by Roosevelt. In 1924 Lenin and Stalin were murdering Russian Christians by the millions-and the American “free press” was studiously ignoring the auto-da-fe. It was the year of Teapot Dome, the first diesel locomotive, the first motion picture of a President and when a young man named J. Edgar Hoover took over something called the Bureau of Investigation of the Justice Department.

1924 was five years after Prohibition had gone into effect and nine years before it was repealed. It was three years before Lindbergh flew the Atlantic, one year before the famous debate of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan and the year that Cal Coolidge was elected.

The intellectual climate of the time was borne almost exclusively by a homogeneous population composed of White Christians drawn from northern Europe. The Jews were well along in their ambitious drive for leadership-a fact unnoticed by the population at large who thought of Jews then as rather mythical characters in long robes out of the Bible, or harmless, if obnoxious, peddlers….

You May Also Like

About the Author: WAC Library