| Feb 1, 2009
It was Tuesday, May 30, 1922, the day of the dedication of the solemn and splendid memorial to Abraham Lincoln in Washington, and the ceremony on the Mall featured speeches by President Warren Harding and Chief Justice William Howard Taft.
| Sep 14, 2008
Other Press: 272 pp., $24.95
THE publication of new fictions -- the first in more than 20 years -- by one of our most reliable men of letters is an occasion worth marking and measuring. Phillip Lopate is best...
| Jun 22, 2008
Random House: 466 pp., $27
It's refreshing -- and almost quaint -- to see someone try to write a Great American Novel in the 21st century. These days, writers are more apt to pursue the Great American Screenplay...
| Jun 28, 2008
It seems but a minor stretch—if that—to speculate that the seemingly redundant title of Ethan Canin's new novel, "America America," is to suggest that there are indeed second acts in American life.
The book abounds with them, in the first...
| Jul 2, 2008
SOUTHERN fried chicken, coleslaw, biscuits and ham, brownies -- it's the iconic July 4th picnic, so popular (once upon a time) that it became a cliché of the culture, pictured in classic cartoons, nostalgic children's books -- and, of course, in ads for...
| Dec 19, 2007
| 6:21 AM
Frank Doubleday publishes Theodore Dreiser's novel that helps establish an enduring Chicago tradition: fiction in the raw, tawdry but compassionate.
Published on this date, Theodore Dreiser's "Sister Carrie" was among the most auspicious debuts in...
| Jan 2, 2008
As the Los Angeles Times editorial board wraps up its series on American Values in the 2008 presidential campaign, we've asked readers for their own endorsements and ideas on the campaign. The readers' response, ranging from calls for experience and...
| Sep 27, 2009
The Wilderness Warrior
Theodore Roosevelt and the
Crusade for America
Harper: 960 pp., $34.99
Reviewing several Roosevelt biographies in 1920, H.L. Mencken reported that he had found more "gush" than "sense." Douglas Brinkley's...
| Nov 29, 2009
In 1947, jazz great Louis Armstrong got himself a new gadget -- a tape recorder, fresh out on the consumer market. It was a big, boxy machine that he set up in concert halls and jazz joints to record his six-piece All Stars so he could listen to each show...
| Dec 11, 2009
You might remember "A Book of One's Own," Thomas Mallon's study of people who keep diaries. Well, 25 years later, he's come out with a companion volume, a book about letter-writers called "Yours Ever," and it's another mother lode for fellow...
| Jul 19, 2009
Critics don't get much respect. (Pause here for raucous laughter.) If you doubt it, look up the word "critic" in any book of quotations and see what you find.
H.L. Mencken's "New Dictionary of Quotations" is full of zinger after zinger, most of which...
| Jul 16, 2009
ThThe late satirist H.L. Mencken had an idea of how to fix politics. Rather than holding elections, he suggested political leaders be chosen by lot, similar to the way we empanel juries.
Need a legislature? Pick the names out of a hat. How about a city...