Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

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9780684853789: Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature? Do you work for one of those visionary software companies where people come to work wearing hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot? If so, you might be a Bobo.
In his bestselling work of "comic sociology," David Brooks coins a new word, Bobo, to describe today's upper class -- those who have wed the bourgeois world of capitalist enterprise to the hippie values of the bohemian counterculture. Their hybrid lifestyle is the atmosphere we breathe, and in this witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age, Brooks has defined a new generation.

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Review:

You've seen them: They sip double-tall, nonfat lattes, chat on cell phones, and listen to NPR while driving their immaculate SUVs to Pottery Barn to shop for $48 titanium spatulas. They tread down specialty cheese aisles in top-of-the-line hiking boots and think nothing of laying down $5 for an olive-wheatgrass muffin. They're the bourgeois bohemians--"Bobos"--an unlikely blend of mainstream culture and 1960s-era counterculture that, according to David Brooks, represents both America's present and future: "These Bobos define our age. They are the new establishment. Their hybrid culture is the atmosphere we all breathe. Their status codes now govern social life." Amusing stereotypes aside, they're an "elite based on brainpower" and merit rather than pedigree or lineage: "Dumb good-looking people with great parents have been displaced by smart, ambitious, educated, and antiestablishment people with scuffed shoes."

Bobos in Paradise is a brilliant, breezy, and often hilarious study of the "cultural consequences of the information age." Large and influential (especially in terms of their buying power), the Bobos have reformed society through culture rather than politics, and Brooks clearly outlines this passing of the high-class torch by analyzing nearly all aspects of life: consumption habits, business and lifestyle choices, entertainment, spirituality, politics, and education. Employing a method he calls "comic sociology," Brooks relies on keen observations, wit, and intelligence rather than statistics and hard theory to make his points. And by copping to his own Bobo status, he comes across as revealing rather than spiteful in his dead-on humor. Take his description of a typical grocery store catering to discriminating Bobos: "The visitor to Fresh Fields is confronted with a big sign that says 'Organic Items today: 130.' This is like a barometer of virtue. If you came in on a day when only 60 items were organic, you'd feel cheated. But when the number hits the three figures, you can walk through the aisles with moral confidence."

Like any self-respecting Bobo, Brooks wears his erudition lightly and comfortably (not unlike, say, an expedition-weight triple-layer Gore-Tex jacket suitable for a Mount Everest assault but more often seen in the gym). But just because he's funny doesn't mean this is not a serious book. On the contrary, it is one of the more insightful works of social commentary in recent memory. His ideas are sharp, his writing crisp, and he even offers pointed suggestions for putting the considerable Bobo political clout to work. And, unlike the classes that spawned them--the hippies and the yuppies--Brooks insists the Bobos are here to stay: "Today the culture war is over, at least in the realm of the affluent. The centuries-old conflict has been reconciled." All the more reason to pay attention. --Shawn Carkonen

About the Author:

David Brooks writes a biweekly Op-Ed column for The New York Times and appears regularly on PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and NPR's All Things Considered. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Descrizione libro Simon Schuster Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore grey, and went to church. The bohemians were the artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the radical 1960 s; bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980 s. Now the bo s are all mixed up and it is impossible to tell an expresso sipping artist from a cappuccino-gulping banker. In attitudes toward sex, morality, leisure time and work, it is hard to separate the renegade from the company man. The new establishment has combined the countercultural sixties and the achieving eighties into one social ethos. These Bobos define our age. Their hybrid culture is the atmosphere we breathe, their status codes govern social life and their moral codes govern ethics and influence our politics. Our hybrid Bobo culture is going to be dominating society for a long time to come. Read all about it in this serious and witty essay on how we live now. Codice libro della libreria BZV9780684853789

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Descrizione libro Simon Schuster Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore grey, and went to church. The bohemians were the artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the radical 1960 s; bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980 s. Now the bo s are all mixed up and it is impossible to tell an expresso sipping artist from a cappuccino-gulping banker. In attitudes toward sex, morality, leisure time and work, it is hard to separate the renegade from the company man. The new establishment has combined the countercultural sixties and the achieving eighties into one social ethos. These Bobos define our age. Their hybrid culture is the atmosphere we breathe, their status codes govern social life and their moral codes govern ethics and influence our politics. Our hybrid Bobo culture is going to be dominating society for a long time to come. Read all about it in this serious and witty essay on how we live now. Codice libro della libreria BZV9780684853789

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Descrizione libro Simon Schuster Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore grey, and went to church. The bohemians were the artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the radical 1960 s; bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980 s. Now the bo s are all mixed up and it is impossible to tell an expresso sipping artist from a cappuccino-gulping banker. In attitudes toward sex, morality, leisure time and work, it is hard to separate the renegade from the company man. The new establishment has combined the countercultural sixties and the achieving eighties into one social ethos. These Bobos define our age. Their hybrid culture is the atmosphere we breathe, their status codes govern social life and their moral codes govern ethics and influence our politics. Our hybrid Bobo culture is going to be dominating society for a long time to come. Read all about it in this serious and witty essay on how we live now. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780684853789

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