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Generation of Vipers Paperback – September 1, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Nevertheless, it took courage for him to express his views and despite his warning, I followed his lead.
I immediately searched my collection to see if I still had that book. Strangely, among all the books I have, I immediatly located the book, and in the morning checked it out with the great website, "Amazon.com." from whom I order various books over time.
I know that in re-reading this book, I will not be disappointed and in fact, that the status quo will be equally appropriate as was the state of affairs all those years ago.
I noted at the time that the book was published in 1942, while the country was at War which took an enormous amount of courage. In my edition, there is a forward by Mr. Wylie, dated December 7, 1954, which is very interesting. Informatively, I had first read the 1942 publication, and later aquired the 1955 publicaton.
Since Mr. Wylie has passed away, I must confess that I am tempted at the age of 84, to dissect our status quo as bravely as Mr. Wylie.
There is so much to rip apart, so to speak. Our entire political sysem, how we elect a President, which is highly suspect in these times, elevating a mere politician to "Emperor Status," with perks, such as a flying palace, which in fact is a pink elephant, which is paid for by untold amount of taxpayers. Cunning advisors, speech writers, state of the art teleprompters, spokespersons, etc., to just list a few. In the main, with very few exceptions,both houses of congress are actually representing Special Interests, with their constituents way down on the totem pole, political contributions, an euphemism for "bribery," that is still active, never mind all the talk for reform. Advertising, mostly deceitful, espcially the staged contrived Pharmaceutical commericals, and the tiny unreadable small print in both televison and printed media.
The corporate ownerhip of the public airways and printed media, where we receive manipulated news items. The list is endless.
In second thought, I feel that I am not up to the monumnental task, and hope there is another "Philip Wylie," in our midst to take up the torch and slash away.
Finally, I would recommend that if anyone should read my comments, cast aside for just a little while, all the hype and nonsense, and take the time to read this book, and digest the contents, and when finished, just stop and reflect that we are now living in a society thst is so contrived and manipulated, that the reader just posessing an ounce of native intelligence, would hope for the, "resurrection of Philip Wylie."
It is my belief that Philip Wylie led the way for the Michael Moore's of today.
Finally, I am really looking forward to re-reading, "The Generation of Vipers, and having survived all these years will be able to read and digest every word, and pause every so often and reflect on the horrible charade that passes for what a great democracy should be.
At the time of writing, I am conducting a silent roll call, to see whom among my friends I should order this book as a gift with the hopes that the younger generaion will benefit.
I hope that some big name reviewer would bring this most important book to national attention.
A confirmed skeptic and cynic,
The chapter on sexual mores, "A Specimen American Attitude", in which he seems to favor more loose standards, is a pillar-to-post embarrassment. Christians also cannot embrace Wylie's views of Christ and Christianity set out in the chapter "The Man on the Cross".
That being said, in other chapters, Wylie makes some unbelievably frank and insightful observations about some other aspects of American life. A reviewer below notes that Wylie's life was destroyed by the publication of the book. At age 40, did Wylie think that he'd be feted with champagne and caviar for making many of the observations he made? Apparently, he needed to be reminded of the old saw that, while you can certainly get in trouble in this world by telling lies, you often get into far more trouble by telling impolitic truths.
Wylie's central message is that people should use their short time on this earth putting the moral ahead of the material, trying to become better people instead of only thinking about their bank balance. I was blown away that the book was published over 60 years ago but still, in most places, seems so fresh today. Barring the unforeseen, sadly, "Generation of Vipers" will be just as topical in 2050 or 2100 as it is today or it was back in 1942 when the book was published.
This book is well worth your time if you can separate the wheat from the chaff, ignoring the places where the author is off base, but noting the other places where he is right on target.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am willing to deeply mine boring pages to discover the occasional wise gem, but its all empty here.Read more