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Cheerful Money Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor (Paperback)

Author:  Tad Friend
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FORMAT: Paperback
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Learn more about Cheerful Money:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0316003182
ISBN-13: 9780316003186
Sku: 212936899
Publish Date: 7/1/2010
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.25H x 5.5L x 1T
Pages:  384
The son of a Swarthmore College president evaluates the culture through which privileged families like his own thrived and dominated America for centuries before their fortunes failed in the 1960s, a period during which he assessed both the heyday of Wasp life and the dysfunction that had come to dominate his family. *Author: Friend, Tad *Subtitle: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor *Publication Date: 2010/07/01 *Number of Pages: 351 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.00 *Width: 5.50 *Height: 8.25
From the Publisher:
Tad Friend's family is nothing if not illustrious: his father was president of SwarthmoreCollege, and at Smith his mother came in second in a poetry contest judged by W.H. Auden--to Sylvia Plath.  For centuries, Wasps like his ancestors dominated American life.  But then, in the '60s, their fortunes began to fall.  As a young man, Tad noticed that his family tree, for all its glories, was full of alcoholics, depressives, and reckless eccentrics.  Yet his identity had already been shaped by the family's age-old traditions and expectations.  Part memoir, part family history, and part cultural study of the long swoon of the American Wasp, Cheerful Money is a captivating examination of a cultural crack-up and a man trying to escape its wreckage.
New Yorker writer Tad Friend provides an intimate and wry look at his distinguished WASP family, whose lineage dates back to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Friend honestly explores their eccentric traditions, snobbishness, stinging wit, wealth and power, as well as their feuds, crimes, neuroses, and alcoholism. Using his own family as a model, he examines the role of WASPs in American culture and charts their inexorable decline in the middle of the 20th century. Written with verve and warmth, CHEERFUL MONEY teems with oddball characters and off-kilter anecdotes. It manages to be simultaneously deeply personal, hugely funny, and fascinating.


"Using cash as a 'behavioral-management tool' is just one Wasp peccadillo that Friend nails in CHEERFUL MONEY, a suave, sharp-witted, generally intoxicating but occasionally sobering expose of his native culture....Friend is one of the least whiny and most incisive insiders to chronicle this privileged world, and he does so with style and soul." - Heller McAlpin 09/11/2009

"WASPs' legendary courtesy is at the heart of Tad Friend's winsome memoir, which recounts, with amiable nostalgia, the foibles and predilections of a declining caste....The author's warmth and pleasant wit, his reliably graceful prose style, usually manage to carry the day." - Francine Du Plessix Gray 09/25/2009

"[C]harming, informative, and moving....Friend is at his best describing the odd rituals of family life and the outmoded ambitions and prejudices of his class." - Barbara Fisher 09/27/2009

"American Wasps are now as rare as black truffles, and rarely has their story been told so candidly or entertainingly as it is in Tad Friend's wonderful...memoir....Friend's book is such a winning family chronicle that the decline he describes is less a fall than an exhilarating ride, less sad than heartwarmingly comic." - Marie Arana 10/11/2009

"Friend's recollections of WASP America in the throes of decline are frequently amusing, carefully modulated, occasionally wearying and unfailingly stylish. Friend is one of those journalists with an admirable eye for the telling detail, and his writing is at its best when he makes his point by allowing them to accumulate evocatively." - Tim Rutten 10/14/2009

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0384
Product attributePublisher:   Back Bay Books
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