Henry Louis Mencken

Henry Louis Mencken

American author, criticist
12 September 1880 — 29 January 1956

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Henry Louis Mencken's books


The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all. It is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry to put down dissent and originality.

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The cynics are right nine times out of ten.

A man loses his sense of direction after four drinks; a woman loses hers after four kisses.


Religion, like poetry, is simply a concerted effort to deny the most obvious realities.

The curse of man, and the cause of nearly all of his woes, is his stupendous capacity for believing the incredible.

I am suspicious of all the things that the average citizen believes.

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The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable.

We must respect the other fellow`s religion but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

For it is the natural tendency of the ignorant to believe what is not true. In order to overcome that tendency it is not sufficient to exhibit the true; it is also necessary to expose and denounce the false.

Love [...] is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

On one issue, at least, men and women agree: they both distrust women.

A man always blames the woman who fools him. In the same way he blames the door he walks into in the dark.


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