Life Among the Natives

WOLFE, HENRY C.

Life Among the Natives A Surfeit of Honey. Reviewed by Henry C. Wolfe By Russell Lynes. Aathor of "The Imperial Harper. 140 pp. $3.00. Soviets'' and other books A Surfeit of Honey. By Russell...

...Here the new aristocrats hold sway e.g., tycoons at the apex of the industrial pyramid, an academic elite at the apex of the intellectual pyramid, VIPs and assorted luminaries at the apex of the huckster-Hollywood pyramid...
...His book is both a mirror for our times and a record for the time-capsule...
...Otherwise, each specialized aristocracy tends to keep to its own lofty slopes...
...Class," in that context, has pretty much gone the way of "idle rich" and "hired girl...
...I The de-emphasis of money is a major feature of our post-World i War II social revolution...
...Not so many Presidents back, it was routine party politics to taunt a blue-blooded social reformer as a traitor to his class...
...Lynes turns his candid camera on the age of "barbecued bliss," American husbands show up as the "new servant class" and bull sessions switch from the corner bar to the neighborhood laundromat...
...Lynes again proves himself to be one of our wittiest and most challenging social critics...
...The Big Men of Big Business make uneasy obeisance to the academic elite...
...Cultish in his informality, clothed in unconventional raiment and a sense of security, the Upper Bohemian "is culturally hep, but he is not a cultural hepcat...
...The Upper Bohemians are the only group that, cutting across the pyramids, serves them as a line of communications and secondary balance-wheel...
...As it turns out, you can't keep a good man down by de-stratifying him...
...As in Guests, Snobs and The Taste-makers, Mr...
...Yet that prophet of the classless society, Karl Marx, would certainty feel frustrated by ours...
...Charles Van Doren of recent TV fame may well i be the exception that proves the rule...
...In this homogenized society of ours, there's no class to be traitor to...
...Lynes lauds the virtues of the Depression and deplores the American's urge to work overtime as a consumer and pay for his commodities on credit...
...He may be an apologetic refugee from crude parental wealth or the son of a successful but un-money-minded professional man...
...In A Surfeit of Honey, to be sure, he makes a bow to David Riesman, but he has done the major homework strictly on his own...
...In lamenting the rudeness, slipshod service and expense-account hypocrisies that mar the glossy surface of prosperity, he may sound like something less than a prophet of doom...
...In a society where the pianist earns less than his i piano-tuner, youth should be well-balanced and well-adjusted rather than well-heeled...
...As Russell Lynes points out in this urbane report on contemporary native mores, it is only in labor's term "rank and file'" that class consciousness still rears its balding head...
...Elegiacally Mr...
...Nevertheless, he deserves attentive hearing as the poor man's Jeremiah...
...Your tycoon prefers an honorary LLD to another solid gold Cadillac...
...As Mr...
...The aim today is not a million, but security and s a well-rounded life...
...In his casual way, he is likely to be on the side of labor, Freud, Keynes and free thought...
...He gravitates perforce to one of the pyramids that characterize our social structure...
...In either case, it is unfashionable for Reviewed by Henry C. Wolfe Author of "The Imperial Soviets'' and other books him to make money...
...This is the social climate in which Who's Who in America, representing achievement, ; outranks the Social Register...
...The taunt would be meaningless today...
...The American woman emerges as a "part-time lady," a lady being "a woman who makes a man behave like a gentleman...

Vol. 40 • March 1957 • No. 9


 
Developed by
Kanda Sofware
  Kanda Software, Inc.