Bobos in Paradise

Bobos in Paradise

The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Book - 2000
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Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2000.
ISBN: 9780684853772
0684853779
Branch Call Number: 305.52/BROO
Characteristics: 284p. 22cm.

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lukasevansherman
Nov 03, 2018

I believe it was the gleefully contrarians at the Baffler who referred to Times columnist and NPR staple David Brooks as "a notoriously unwoke neoliberal apologist." They also sell toilet paper with his face on it. The about the author paragraphs refers to him as a "comic sociologist," and this is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time, but I don't think I was laughing at the right parts. I was laughing at Brooks's almost staggering cluelessness and lack of grounding in any kind of political or cultural reality. Here is an elite awkwardly trying to satirize other elites. At least I think that's what he's doing. Bobo stands for "bourgeois bohemians," a description that, unsurprisingly, never took off. I very much enjoyed hate reading this. Hey, he's not as bad as fellow Times columnist and globalization cheerleader Tom Friedman.

s
StarGladiator
Sep 07, 2013

Where oh where is this mythical "meritocracy" of Brooks? Does he mean anyone who fails miserably and then receives a highly paid position with a so-called (s)think tank? Could he provide some source data? No, of course not! It is funny that George W. Bush couldn't qualify for the enlisted specialty I was in while doing military service, but then I actually finished boot camp (unlike Bush, who phased out at the 4-week point, or half-way mark, but then somehow returned to Houston and miraculously became an "officer" and a "pilot"). John Boehner washed out of Navy basic training, yet is Speaker of the House, a chronic inebriate, and can't perform simple arithmetic? Perhaps Brooks is referring to .....to who?

d
delfon
Mar 19, 2012

The author brings together his version of bohemians lifestyle and that of the bourgeois, hard headed businessman. Whether his theses has merit is still open. However, he does a great service to intellectuals, junior variety types who may not be aware of the career paths that await. Humour in the Intellectual Life chapter is priceless. The faux lifestyles to mimic a life they (the BoBo's) couldn't want to live is brought out as well. The BoBo's are those that combine and mesh lifestyles of both the bohemian and the bourgeois. Not many might agree, and the author recognizes at the end the real conflicts are between those who have accepted the fusion and those that do not. Not sure where he gets his facts, so it appears he works from anecdote.
Still a good read for that newly minted BA, MA.

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