American literary magazine founded in 1924 by H. L. Mencken. which he edited during its first ten years, last published in 1981


American Mercury: 1924-1980
    by Robert Muccigrosso, The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America, 1999
"Within a few years after its initial January 1924 issue, the Mercury would prove the most popular new magazine of the decade and one of the most influential magazines then in existence in the United States. The editors of the Mercury promised in the first issue to provide 'civilized entertainment,' to 'lay chief stress at all times upon American ideas, American problems, and American personalities,' and to 'attempt a realistic presentation of the whole gaudy, gorgeous, American scene.'"

Publication Frequency

April 1963-Spring 1980
Quarterly, issued irregularly
January 1924-March 1963

Staff and Associates

Henry HazlittEditor, 1934
H. L. MenckenEditor, 1924-1933


H.L. Mencken: The Soul Behind the Sass, by Thomas Hazlett, Reason, Dec 1987
Review of the second edition of Disturber of the Peace: The Life of H.L. Mencken by William Manchester
"Mencken's deluge was awesome, as was its equal and opposite reaction, which reached virtual apoplexy after his founding of the outspoken and notorious American Mercury in 1923–24. 'It is difficult to describe ... the great wrath the Mercury inspired,' Manchester writes. 'A massive chorus of Rotarians, preachers, American Legion leaders, and college professors seemed to have organized itself for Mencken's private amusement; he had but to say the magic words and the chorus responded in a spluttering, hysterical hymn of vituperation. ...'"
Related Topics: Evolution, H. L. Mencken
H. L. Mencken, America's Wittiest Defender of Liberty: Mencken Was America's Foremost Newspaperman and Literary Critic, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Sep 1995
Biographical essay, highlighting Mencken's tenure at the Baltimore Sun, the books he authored, the founding and his work at the American Mercury monthly and his brief relationship with Sara Haardt
"... with backing from Knopf [Mencken] and Nathan launched the monthly American Mercury. The first issue, bearing a distinctive pea-green cover, appeared in January 1924. ... Mencken offered feisty commentary plus writing by many of America's most distinguished authors. There were articles by philosophical anarchist Emma Goldman and birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger. Also, such black authors as W.E.B. Dubois, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, and George Schuyler."