The Classic Guidebook to Your Friends, Your Enemies, Your Colleagues, and Yourself
By Russell Lynes
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061706400, 80pp.)
Publication Date: April 2009
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In this classic work by the renowned wit and pundit whom the New York Times has lauded as "one of America's foremost arbiters of taste and mores . . . an acclaimed expert on what was highbrow, what was lowbrow, and what was no brow at all," the inimitable Russell Lynes flaunts (rather snobbishly, perhaps) his unparalleled expertise on all things snobbish. Since the Social Snob—with his raised nostrils and air of intolerable intolerance—has long since gone underground, it falls to a true connoisseur to identify the myriad faces of snobbery. Whether it be the Regional, Political, or Moral Snob, the Sensual or Sex Snob, or that most virulent of genus, the Reverse or Anti-Snob Snob, Lynes shines an illuminating light that will enable us to more easily recognize the pervasive pretentiousness surrounding us . . . and perhaps within us as well.
Russell Lynes (1910-1991) was an art historian, cultural critic, author, photographer, and managing editor of Harper's Magazine. His articles for Harper's and Life in 1949 made parsing American culture into highbrow, upper or lower middlebrow, and lowbrow a national pastime. He wrote many books, including Snobs and The Tastemakers.
“One of America’s foremost arbiters of taste and mores. . . . Essayist, social historian, photographer and Renaissance man, Mr. Lynes was an acclaimed expert on what was highbrow, what was lowbrow and what was no brow at all.”
-New York Times