Balsamic Dreams by Joe Queenan
A Short But Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer Generation

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The author of the bestselling Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon takes aim at the boomer generation in a hilarious work of social commentary.

It's become fashionable to vilify baby boomers. Professional iconoclast and baby boomer Joe Queenan, however, takes a somewhat more benign position: Yes, the baby boomers are venal, self-obsessed egomaniacs blighted by an insalubrious interest in things like the provenance of their neighbors' balsamic vinegar. But this does not make them the "worst generation" -- it just makes them the most annoying.

In Balsamic Dreams, Queenan chronicles the evolution of his generation and critiques its current condition in chapters such as:

--J'Accuse: a bold indictment of the boomers' greatest transgressions, past and present
--Ten Days That Rocked the World: in which Queenan identifies the precise moments things went awry (#1: the release of Carole King's Tapestry)
--Careful, the Staff Might Hear You: an examination of the unspoken, nefarious alliance between baby boomers and Generation X
--American History: The B-Sides: an alternative version of the Republic as played out with baby boomers in the starring roles

A measured (if a tad cranky) assessment of a generation whose greatest sin lies in confusing lifestyle for life and pop culture for culture, Balsamic Dreams is fresh, funny, and irresistible.


About Joe Queenan

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JOE QUEENAN has been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, GQ, and Spy. He has written for Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Golf Digest, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The New Republic, and contributes to The New York Times, and The Guardian. He has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Today, and The Daily Show. His books include The New York Times bestseller and Notable Book Closing Time: A Memoir.
Published June 1, 2002 by Henry Holt and Co.. 226 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Imposing their values on dead historical figures, Queenan suggests, indulges their tendency to “pick a fight they can’t possibly lose.” In two of the better tongue-in-cheek sections, Queenan acts as historian (identifying the 1971 release of Carole King’s Tapestry as the moment that caused the Bo...

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The New York Times

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He's a typical baby boomer,'' Joe Queenan writes of the director Oliver Stone in one of the 12 essays in his acerbic collection ''Balsamic Dreams.'' A boomer himself, Queenan opines that his generation is filled with self-absorbed, politically correct, unabashed consumers who wallow in premature ...

Aug 05 2001 | Read Full Review of Balsamic Dreams: A Short But ...

The Guardian

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Balsamic Dreams by Joe Queenan Picador £10.99, pp200 Joe Queenan has made a career for himself as a contrarian, hoisting his victims with their own petards.

Feb 26 2006 | Read Full Review of Balsamic Dreams: A Short But ...

Publishers Weekly

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According to film and social critic Queenan (Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon) in this witty, sardonic and heartfelt paen to his fellow aging boomers, they weren't the first generation to sell out "but they were the first generation to sell out and then insist that they hadn't."

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