Snobbery by Joseph Epstein
The American Version

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Synopsis

Joseph Epstein's highly entertaining new book takes up the subject of snobbery in America after the fall of the prominence of the old Wasp culture of prep schools, Ivy League colleges, cotillions, debutante balls, the Social Register, and the rest of it. With ample humor and insight, Epstein uncovers the new outlets upon which the old snobbery has fastened: food and wine, fashion, high-achieving children, schools, politics, health, being with-it, name-dropping, and much else, including the roles of Jews and homosexuals in the development of snobbery. He also raises the question of whether snobbery might, alas, be a part of human nature. Snobbery: The American Versionis the first book in English devoted exclusively to the subject since Thackeray's THE BOOK OF SNOBS.
 

About Joseph Epstein

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Joseph Epstein is a long time resident of Chicago. Joseph Epstein has taught English and writing atNorthwestern for many years. He is the author of 22 books, many of them collections of essays, andhas also written for numerous magazines including the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Commentary.
 
Published July 7, 2003 by Mariner Books. 293 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Mark the passing use of such Briticisms as “navvies,” “bloody,” or “a mug’s game.” On the other hand, Yiddishisms bloom too, as in “kvell,” “allrightnik,” and—happy conflation—“Vive le schmuck!” Epstein presents beautifully opinionated epigrams and judgments, sometimes off-base (is The Donald tru...

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Publishers Weekly

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Noted essayist and former American Scholar editor Epstein, having enlightened us on ambition (Ambition: The Secret Passion), now turns to its companion, snobbery.

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Star Tribune

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I'd love to know what sort of people a 16-year-old Senegalese girl thinks are contemptible.) In the end, Epstein leaves us painlessly chastened, yet hopeful and upbeat about the future of snobs: "Perhaps the best that can be said for snobbery is that .

Jul 13 2002 | Read Full Review of Snobbery: The American Version

Book Reporter

Most readers, one imagines, will find themselves impaled on Epstein's sharp prose at some point --- maybe through their reading habits, taste in music, or the names of their children --- but not to worry.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Snobbery: The American Version

Entertainment Weekly

There are upward snobs, downward snobs, secret snobs, name-droppers, and wine snobs: Epstein argues that everyone is liable to be pretentious about something.

Jun 28 2002 | Read Full Review of Snobbery: The American Version

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