Wasp sting

October 13th, 2009

F. Scott Fitzgerald had said that their power came from "animal magnetism and money." Yet, they eschewed vulgar displays of wealth and were even considered to be thrifty.  They were the best and the brightest, but also refused to be considered "intellectuals."  They were the natural aristocracy, the ruling class of American society.  They were the Wasp elite and the last days of their rein took place during the last half of the 20th Century.  New Yorker writer Tad Friend, in his new memoir Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor gives us a very human and personal study of what happened when this culture collapsed and the personal psychological wreckage it left behind.  My conversation with Tad Friend

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