Saving a Whale

A Choice of Days: Essays from “Happy Days,” “Newspaper Days,” and “Heathen Days,” by H.L. Mencken, selected and introduced by Edward L. Galligan

On Mencken edited by John Dorsey

The Young Mencken: The Best of His Work collected by Carl Bode

The American Scene: A Reader by H.L. Mencken, edited by Huntington Cairns

H.L. Mencken on Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe edited by Malcolm Moos

Letters of H.L. Mencken edited by Guy J. Forgue

A Mencken Chrestomathy edited and annotated by H.L. Mencken

Was Shakespeare a Chauvinist?

Shakespeare’s Division of Experience by Marilyn French

Man’s Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare by Coppélia Kahn

Shakespeare and the Problem of Meaning by Norman Rabkin

Spaghetti West

Land of Savagery, Land of Promise: The European Image of the American Frontier in the Nineteenth Century by Ray Allen Billington

Fallen Idols

Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900 by Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny


Bernard Knox (1914–2010) was an English classicist. He was the first director of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC. Among his many books are The Heroic Temper, The Oldest Dead White European Males, and Backing into the Future: The Classical Tradition and Its Renewal. He is the editor of The Norton Book of Classical Literature and wrote the introductions and notes for Robert Fagles’s translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Norman Mailer (1923-2007) was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. In 1955 he co-founded The Village Voice. He is the author of more than thirty books, including The Naked and the Dead; The Armies of the Night, for which he won a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; The Executioner’s Song, for which he won his second Pulitzer Prize; Harlot’s Ghost; Oswald’s Tale; The Gospel According to the Son; and The Castle in the Forest.

Stephen Spender (1909–1995) was an English poet and essayist. As a young man, he became friends with W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, Cecil Day-Lewis, and Christopher Isherwood, a loose collection often referred to as “the Auden Group” or “MacSpaunday.” He published many collections of poems, including The Still Centre and Ruins and Visions, and numerous volumes of nonfiction and other works, including Learning Laughterand Love-Hate Relations.

C. Vann Woodward (1908–1999) was a historian of the American South. He taught at Johns Hopkins and at Yale, where he was named the Sterling Professor of History. His books include Mary Chesnut’s Civil War and The Old World’s New World.