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American Mercury, The

All God's Chillun Got Wings, Aesthete, 1925

a monthly magazine founded in 1924 with H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan as editors. Urbanely scathing commentary on the social and cultural follies of contemporary America was Mencken's speciality, the prohibition of alcohol being a recurrent object of his scorn. Nathan directed the magazine's interest towards drama; the entire text of Eugene O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings appeared in the second issue. Although Nathan resigned as co-editor in 1925, he continued to contribute drama criticism until 1930. Literature in general was well represented, Sinclair Lewis, Theodore Dreiser, Vachel Lindsay, Edgar Lee Masters, Carl Sandburg, and Sherwood Anderson being among the writers featured. Hostility was displayed towards authors and movements viewed as pretentious. The first issue contained Ernest Boyd's satirical article ‘Aesthete, Model 1924’; Allen Tate, Malcolm Cowley, William Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, and others responded by publishing a single edition of Aesthete, 1925, in which much wit was exercised at the expense of Mencken and his colleagues. American history, literary biography, and aspects of American linguistic usage were subjects of regular articles. Mencken's editorship ended in 1933, when the magazine came under the control of L. E. Spivak. Domestic and international politics became the predominant concerns during its eventual decline to an unimportant right-wing journal. It ceased publication in 1975.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Agha Shahid Ali Biography to Ardoch Perth and Kinross