- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Workman Publishing (September 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0894801406
- ISBN-13: 978-0894801402
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Official Preppy Handbook Paperback – September, 1980
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Top Customer Reviews
I routinely recommend this book to talented kids from other classes and other places who are trying to make it in the Northeast. Along with John Molloy's Dress for Success, this book made it possible for me to adapt to corporate life.
All I know is that my copy is well-thumbed from two-plus decades of hard work, and it's showing no signs of irrelevance yet!
Lisa Birnbach and company, successfully documented the lives of the Prep School set, from youth to retirement. Along the way they explore in a brilliant and witty way, the mindset and lifestyle of this group. You learn immediately that being a Preppy is well beyond going to a private school. Preps exude Noblesse Oblige, while wearing Lacoste polos and drinking Bloody Mary's. You learn about their cars, colleges, clothes, food, jobs, music, pets, what they read and how they decorate their houses. You learn what "To Summer," REALLY means. You even learn their speech patterns, and prep vocabulary. Along the way you have a lot of laughs, while getting an education about what makes these people tick. Years later, I still pull out my pristine copy not only for laughs, but for reference as well. In recent years others have tried to follow this groundbreaking formula only to have missed the mark. You will find many books with: "In the traditon of The Preppy Handbook" in their titles. They do not even come close.
Sadly, this artifact is out of print. Perhaps someone will start a letter writing campaign to Workman Publishers, begging them to reprint it. It is REALLY that good!
This book describes a much more rarified segment of society than some people think the word "preppy" implies, and I sense this confusion in some of the negative reviews. These days, anyone who is white and does not dress like Marilyn Manson is called "preppy." But this broad swath of the populace is NOT who Birnbach is referring to in this book. She's talking about a really rather elite group of people and their somewhat odd and peculiar mores. These are not kids who are preppy in that they hang out at the mall rather than on some streetcorner. She is talking about people who in actuality probably hang out places most people have never heard of, live in houses you cannot see, and go to schools that are so prestigious that you probably don't even know exist. I'm not making a value judgement, I am just trying to clarify. If you don't like it, too bad; Birnbach is the messenger, not the problem.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The classic! This timeless book nail points that were pertinent at the time, and remain so today. It gets me laughing every time I read it, with how spot on it can be.Published 11 days ago by Ryan L. Waldron
Love this one! So entertianing about the "Preppy lifestyle". I read it just before the updated version came out.Published 12 days ago by Moira Lauren
Having grown up in the preppy era I can appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humour of this book. A fun read!Published 29 days ago by Noames99
I remember reading this having no Idea I lived this life. It's ridiculously hilarious to us who grew up in 70's/80's and how people lived it or emulated or studied it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mimisaid
Witty and funny! I showed some of my preppy friends this book and they say it's hilarious and spot on!Published 4 months ago by SM
This is a clever and cute guide to being "Preppy"—basically, a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). Read morePublished 5 months ago by benjamin bannister
Maybe the most important book of the 1980's! This is a great book for those who were born and raised as part of prep culture, especially if you're from the preppy regions of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by CatsPajamas1274