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Article

SNOBBERY: THE AMERICAN VERSION

Posted on

Snobbery: The American Version

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Joseph Epstein
publisher:
Houghton Mifflin
genre:
Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

Epstein’s Snobbery asks whether there is a class or caste system extant in America. The answer, of course, is an emphatic yes, but the ins and outs of how snootiness works still make for some fun reading. Epstein covers all of the old status symbols — schools, cars, clubs — but is also sharp on the many newer, non-WASP varieties of haughtiness involving politics, food, and fame. There are upward snobs, downward snobs, secret snobs, name-droppers, and wine snobs: Epstein argues that everyone is liable to be pretentious about something. Not me, you think. Well, what makes you think you’re better than everybody else? Snob.