In this self-indulgent memoir, journalist Pell recollects her privileged East Coast upbringing and her gradual break with the affluence and expectations of her dynastic clan. As a young woman, Pell rode horses, spent time at her grandparents' Tuxedo Park villa ("with two enormous round towers and a long, splendid living room that you stepped down into from a double stairway") and shopped at Bergdorfs with relatives called Cooky, Pookie, Goody and Tinkie (Pell was nicknamed Topsy). Following her debut, Pell went to college "to be interesting to my future husband and to pass the time until he showed up," and it wasn't until she graduated and moved to the West Coast that she escaped the overweening pressure to fill the family-standard "snobbish foxhunting debutante" mold. Her eventual transformation to black sheep, unfortunately, is too little too late. Though her luxurious childhood is marked by genuine emotional pain, alienation and confusion, most readers will have a hard time empathizing with her personal issues or her upper-class guilt, particularly in the present financial climate.
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"In We Used to Own the Bronx, her revealing and riveting memoir, Eve Pell defies the dictates of her social class--to be charming but not to say what she felt--and bares all. She detonates bombshells and unmasks betrayals on almost every page." --San Francisco Chronicle
"... a literary treat. ... Pell gives us a kind of cultural anthropology of the closest thing in America to a landed gentry." --Wall Street Journal Review by Sol Stern
"We all know what poverty can do--to individuals, to families, to societies that look the other way ... But what about wealth? What can the possession of immense fortune, over time, do to us? Eve Pell knows. Eve Pell, in this riveting new memoir, tells. We should listen." --Too Much
"...refreshingly direct ... Pell ... uses her lively memoir of growing up in aristocratic style to ask a series of provocative questions: Is it possible to choke on a silver spoon? What good is a sense of entitlement? Are riches wasted on the rich? Her candid account of bristling at her birthright transcends the stereotype suggested by the subtitle to divulge the psychic pressures of living with inherited privilege in a meritocracy-mad country ... To her lasting credit, We Used to Own the Bronx is a graceful object lesson in how perspective is gained not all at once but by accretion, the reward of years of methodical observation." --truthdig.com
"Eve Pell gives us a fascinating glimpse into a secret world of unfathomable wealth and privilege. Hers is an unexpected and ultimately hopeful journey of rebellion and reconciliation." --Jane Fonda --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Nice book! Good historic info for this Bronx girl who grew up nearby.Published 3 months ago by L. A. Ibrahim
There was a little bit of whiny-ness involved, the poor little rich girl syndrome. However, I liked her family very much, and learned about a society that I would never have... Read morePublished 15 months ago by The Sassy Countess
Eve Pell is to be commended for writing about her family, their foibles & their inability to change while all around was changing. Read morePublished 23 months ago by THBz
Interesting and provocative look at how extreme wealth through the generations can erode the very best of someone's humanity. XxxxxPublished on May 19, 2013 by Lawrence
This Memoir is a look into the defunct world of America's elite WASP upperclass. The author shows how trapped she felt and how she "escaped" - like a" Junior Miss"... Read morePublished on April 10, 2013 by Pamela S. Lord
And has lived a fascinating life to match. I first found her in a New York Times Modern Love Column about her marriage to a fellow runner and her courtship with him. Read morePublished on March 29, 2013 by Constant Reader
This should have had more information about the past Pells. She dwelt too much on her radical past. It was boring after awhile. She came across as a malcontent. Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by AG
Eve Pell writes in such a way that it is easy to understand her even if you have no idea what she is talking about.Published on February 14, 2013 by Anne G. Debenham
We live near Fort Ticonderoga, so anything to do with the Fort or the Pell Family interests us. This book was very well written and very interesting to us.Published on December 18, 2012 by Kenneth Engler