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A Book of Prefaces is H. L. Mencken's criticism of American society, culture, and movements. Menken considered this book as the most important in his career, and it was pretty controversial. The publishers first doubted about printing it, as they were afraid of the negative public acclaim. The book contains four critical essays, three of which are dedicated to specific writers like Theodor Dreiser, Joseph Conrad, James Huneker. Mencken had criticized Puritanism for many years, famously characterizing it as «the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy,» but through World War I his criticism became increasingly outspoken, in part due to the rising tide of Prohibition.