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The Decline of the WASP Hardcover – 1971

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 2nd edition (1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671210599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671210595
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Barry A. Alfonso on February 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Decline of the Wasp is a provocative, bitingly opinionated examination of the American culture wars of the late '60s and early '70s. Schrag rips into the outmoded standards of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant establishment with gusto, displaying particular scorn for the 'plastic-eating' consumerism that manifest itself in everything from Disneyland to Playboy magazine. He is right on the money in noting the significance of Jewish and Catholic conservatives embracing the old values discarded by the WASP elite ' the basis for the emerging neocon movement. Interestingly, he overlooks white evangelical Southerners as a distinct group, a crucial omission in light of their rising political role in the 1970s. He likewise discounts the vitality of religion in American life in general, a common failing among pundits of his time. Schrag notes that 'it would be unfortunate, perhaps even fatal, if the mediating functions created by WASPs were further eroded.' In general, though, he largely welcomes the splintering of American culture as a way of escaping government intrusion and business-driven conformity. While he is not infallible as a pundit, Schrag often seems prescient in his analysis of American society. The Decline of the Wasp is worth reading for both its insights into the USA of 40 years ago and its glimpses of future cultural divisions.
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Format: Hardcover
In this book Peter Schrag, himself Jewish, celebrates the fact that Jews have achieved dominance in the upper levels of American society. I was surprised to learn that upper-middle-class Jews once felt they were being unfairly excluded from the upper class. It broke my heart.
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