Buy Used
$9.94
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Solid used copy with visible wear. May be former library book. FREE SHIPPING w/AMAZON PRIME!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Way of the Wasp Hardcover – December 31, 1990


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$4.82 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 171 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1St Edition edition (December 31, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029047218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029047217
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Our nation's founders were sui generis WASP, whose ethic formed the American character, and "without the continuing influence of whose values," we have lost our way. In a cri de coeur written with a wit that leavens his controvertible convictions and makes this maddening book entertaining, National Review editor Brookhiser argues that current emigres resist becoming Americanized, that WASPs themselves, influenced by progressive politics, have gone astray. He sets forth what he considers to be the basic WASP characteristics--conscientiousness, industry, success, civic-mindedness, prudishness--that, he maintains, have been usurped by the traits of de-assimilation--self, ambition, gratification, group-mindedness, diffidence, creativity. WASP insularity is dismissed as a one-time reaction to foreigners, "an episode," and evidence is offered of WASP adaptiveness to immigrants' cultures: absorption of bagels and burritos into our national cuisine. If America is to reclaim greatness, our citizens must be WASPized, opines Brookhiser: "The people we want aren't permanent immigrants."
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

America needs saving, and George Bush is the man to do it, says the author. Why Bush? Because he is the leader of the WASPs, and WASPdom is what made the United States so successful--before it got sidetracked by misguided ideas and progressive politics. Since Brookhiser is a National Review editor and American Spectator contributor, it's hardly surprising to hear him argue that WASPs possess the only real character America has ever had, that restoring their cultural hegemony and such WASP values as civic-mindedness will bring about a badly needed national renaissance. It is a bit disconcerting, however, when this one-time Bush speechwriter admits that his former boss--the man he proposes as America's savior--"shows no intellectual depth." Ultimately, the author's thesis is clear but unconvincing.
- Stephen Shaw, Northwest Nazarene Coll., Nampa, Id.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yaakov (James) Mosher on September 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
A quite readable inquiry into a fascinating aspect of American culture. A little too breezy in spots (example: "The Irish are even more puritanical than the Puritans." p. 45, 1991 hardcover edition. My response: Are they really?!) but, on balance, well argued and well documented. The author serves up varied and sturdy original and non-original examinations. Among the best spleen-touchers are his takes on Boston's Yankee-Irish feud (p. 44) and Israeli society (p.144).
National Review magazine senior editor Richard Brookhiser wrote "The Way of The WASP" during the presidency of George H.W. (Poppy) Bush, for whom Brookhiser wrote speeches. The book can be viewed as a long and useful memo to his former boss. The high points of the work are Chapter 3, in which Brookhiser clearly identifies the sociological phenomenon, and the final chapter, where he relates strategies for rebuilding common culture.
The author wisely hits at the fact that such a rebuilding will not succeed if done under an explicit WASP Revival banner. It can only be effective in a roundabout way (what Soren Kierkegaard called "thoughts that wound from behind") with pragmatic appeals to justice, history, and all-important tests of what works (what David Hume boiled down to common sense).
Jews are called to be a light unto the nations. WASPs and holders of WASP values need to be a light unto America through exemplary conduct that prizes practice over theory and is correctly seasoned with humility and prudence (cue Dana Carvey doing Poppy..."Not going to do it. Wouldn't be prudent."). The author insulates his work from racialism by delving into the six character traits and those that replaced them.
Brookhiser's call for mainline Protestant churches to get back to truth is welcome.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Reply to previous review. William F. Buckley, Pat Buchanan, Bill O'Reilly, and Jeb Bush are all Catholics, several of them of Celtic, not Anglo-Saxon, descent. They are, however, white.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Richard Brookheiser was once a speechwriter for then vice president George H W Bush. His skill as a write is awesone, as evidenced by this writing. He argues that the mores of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants were the ones which formed our country and made it great. Immigrants who were not Anglophones, and those with non-Protestant religions also accepted WASP mores as they became successfully integrated as Americans. Those mores, once called virtues, include the work ethic, the tendency to save, to defer gratification, and to eschew physical gratification.

But in recent decades, "progressive", modernist ideas have taken a deep root in our national character.

In order to become great again, we must get them back. But can we? Brookheiser seems optimistic, but in the end, only time will tell.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roan Purgatory on March 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was given a copy of this book just after it was published. It meandered around the theme of What Exactly Is A WASP. It tried, not too valiantly, with no satisfying results. It derived from an isolated viewpoint, Northeastern, Ivy League and almost more National Review Catholic influenced rather than White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
The book even veered into irrelevance when it referred to John Updike as a WASP archetype.
It was a disappointing shortfall.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a not bad book. The author (or National Review fame, mind you) praises the values of the most politically incorrect of creatures, the cause of all (or almost) the world's problems: The Great American W.A.S.P.!
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. You know, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, William F. Buckley, Pat Buchanan, George Will, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Ronald Reagan, Jeb Bush, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Peggy Noonan, Pat Robertson, Barbara Simpson, Rich Lowry. And on and on and on!
These are the type of folks praised in this book. Or rather, the Founding Fathers who would agree with their politics. If nothing else, it's certainly a refreshing viewpoint. Granted, some of these folks political opinions are rather shrill and have the stench of a mildly fascistic Christian theocracy, which is deep down what many of these folks on the far right want for America.
Even so, if I have to take their America over the "one Nation under jihad, with liberty and justice for Allah" that the Islamofascists and a few of the U.N. types want...well, I'll take the folks the author praises in this humble tome. It's decent read. Not the end all of politcal literary achievements though. I give it a A for effort.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?