Small Town Baltimore: An Album of Memories, by Gilbert Sandler (Johns Hopkins, 192 pages, $29.95). In word and photo: flagpole-sitters, streetcars, neighborhood cinemas, downtown department stores. A shot of 100-proof nostalgia.
The Patapsco River Valley: Cradle of the Industrial Revolution in Maryland, by Henry K. Sharp (Maryland Historical Society, 144 pages, $22.95 softbound). It never recovered, as a factory site, from the fearful flood of 1868.
The Making of a Modern City: Philanthropy, Civic Culture and the Baltimore YMCA, by Jessica I. Elfenbein (University Press of Florida, 192 pages, $55). The Y arrived in Baltimore 150 years ago; successive leaders have modified its methods and goals. Interesting social history.
Maryland History in Prints, 1743-1900, by Laura Rice (Maryland Historical Society, 416 pages, $75 oversize). A gift book with lavish color and informed accompanying text.
Yellow Flag: The Civil War Journal of Surgeon's Steward C. Marion Dodson, edited by Charles Albert Earp (Maryland Historical Society, 150 pages, $16 softbound). A young Shoreman, from the Union blockade fleet, encounters yellow fever and New Orleans women.
The Diary of Jacob Engelbrecht (Historical Society of Frederick County, 2 vols., 1,167 pages plus 139-page name index; $100). Sixty years of local people and doings, including Barbara Fritchie. The weather, but also the Civil War.
An Academy of Every Virtue: A History of Mount de Sales Academy, by Richard and Susan Randt (Mount de Sales, 328 pages).
The History of Hyattstown, by Dona Cuttler and Michael Dwyer (Heritage, 119 pages, $5).
An Honorable Estate: My Time in the Working Press, by Louis D. Rubin Jr. (Louisiana State University, 216 pages, $22.50). In youth, Rubin was for some years a Sun copy editor. His recollections add to the approved version.
H. L. Mencken
The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken, by Terry Teachout (HarperCollins, 432 pages, $29.95). The great man himself would have had been hard put to find fault with these insights, these judgments. Of numerous biographies by now, the best.
Mencken's Americana, edited by Louis B. Hatchett Jr. (Mercer, 276 pages, $29.95). For the American Mercury's Americana column, its editor used to scan the nation for deeds and words of transcendent individual stupidity. Here, a choice selection.
H. L. Mencken on American Literature, edited by S. T. Joshi (Ohio University, 284 pages, $44.95). A collection of his Smart Set and American Mercury book reviews, now laudatory, now scathing.
James H. Bready writes a monthly column on regional books. Previously he worked as a reporter, editorial writer and book editor for the Evening Sun.