Americans, George Jean Nathan and H.L. Mencken observed in their 1920 book, The American Credo, thought neither wisely nor too well. “Collected into herds,” the masses, they noted, “gather delusions that are special to herds.” “The essential,” Nathan and Mencken explained in their preface, “may be hidden in the trivial.” They then listed 488 popular and seemingly trifling notions that actually revealed important elements of the national creed and character. So what did Americans of this era believe? “That the real president of the United States is J.P. Morgan…. That all Chinamen smoke opium.… That many soldiers’ lives have been saved in battle by bullets lodging in Bibles which they have carried in their breast pockets.… That a jury never convicts a pretty woman.” Nathan and Mencken did not explore the origins or validity of these ideas. Rather, they stressed that the beliefs themselves, not their merits, revealed the popular mind.