Notes on Democracy (Compact Disc)
Written during the 1920s, an era that reflects much of our modern times 100 years later, this book by culture critic and scholar Mencken dissects what democracy is.
The book's three parts are "Democratic Man," "The Democratic State" that includes a chapter on popular will and a chapter on politicians, and "Democracy and Liberty" with a section on corruption under democracy, followed by a "Coda" that discusses the future of democracy.
The author places politicians into two camps: the demagogue, who "preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots" and the demi-slave, "who listens to what these idiots have to say and then pretends that he believes it himself." He depicts politicians as "men who have sold their honor for their jobs."
Mencken, who covered the 1920s' Scopes Trial, has been called one of America's greatest journalists. Here, with his cynical humor, he skewers big government, Puritanism, and sanctimony.