Henry Louis Mencken Quotes

New York is simply inconceivably rich – richer than all the capitals of Europe put together, with all the lesser towns of America, save perhaps one or two, thrown in for good measure. Is wealth merely flamboyant and stupid? Not necessarily. It may also be luxurious and beautiful. There are more beautiful things in New […]

Recall Berlin on its dismal plain, Paris and London on their toy rivers, Madrid on its desert, Copenhagen on its swamp, Rome on its ancient sewer and its absurd little hills, and then glance at Manhattan on its narrow and rock-ribbed island, with deep rivers to either side and the wide bay before it. No […]

A third-rate Babylon.

During many a single week, I daresay, more money is spent in New York upon useless and evil things than would suffice to run the kingdom of Denmark for a year.

This indifference to the great heartthrobs of the hinterland is not to be dismissed as mere criminality; it is founded upon the plain and harsh fact that New York is alien to the rest of the country, not only in blood and tastes, but also in fundamental interests… What passes as virtue in Kansas is […]

The primary postulates of all the rest of the world are its familiar jokes. A city apart (New York), it is breeding a race apart. Is that race American? Then so is a bashi-bazouk American. Is it decent? Then so is a street-walker decent. But I don’t think that it may be reasonable denounced as […]

There is little in New York that does not spring from money. It is not a town of ideas; it is not even a town of causes. But what issues out of money is often extremely brilliant, and I believe that it is more brilliant in New York than it has even been anywhere else.

One man prefers the Republic because it pays better than Bulgaria. Another because it has laws to keep him sober and his daughter chaste. Another because the Woolworth Building is higher than the cathedral at Chartres. Another because, living here, he can read the New York Evening Journal. Another because there is a warrant out […]

Every great wave of popular passion that rolls up on the prairies is dashed to spray when it strikes the hard rocks of Manhattan.

It costs a great deal of money, but New York is filled with people who seem to have it. Are they rooked? I am inclined to doubt it. They pay huge prices, and out of those huge prices come huge profits, but they actually get something for their money. They get a kind of luxury […]