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image: Class Notes headlineOn the shelf

If you missed it in hardback, you have a second chance to read Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, the 2000 bestseller by David B. Brooks, AB'93, now that it's in paperback (Touchstone, 2001). Brooks, a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, writes with wit and insight about the Bourgeois Bohemians ("Bobos"), educated elites whose hybrid of capitalist and hippie principles make "being good compatible with making good."

PHOTO:  Bobos in Paradise:  The New Upper Class and How They Got ThereThe reconciliation of bourgeois and bohemian is not without its contradictions, and Brooks analyzes them in comic detail, including his seven rules of "Financial Correctness." Rule 4 is, "You can never have too much texture." In their quest for roughness and the virtue it connotes, he notes, "[r]eally rich Bobos will hire squads of workmen with ball-peen hammers to pound some rustic wear into their broad floor planks."

Brooks quotes many U of Cers (Robert Bork, Richard Rorty, Hannah Arendt, Norman Maclean, et al.), and locals and former locals will enjoy the scenario involving a Chicago professor that he sets up to demonstrate a chink in the Bobo armor: "status-income disequilibrium." There's trouble in paradise after all.-M.R.Y.




 JUNE 2001

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