William Estep

My journey to retire and sail. Writing, reading, technology, programming, photography, coffee, equality, sailing, and the oxford comma.

"Class: A Guide Through the American Status System" by Paul Fussell

Category: ClubReading
Tags: booksreview

This book purports to be a "guide through the American status system" but it is a guide to the author's prejudices.

The author divides Americans into several classes starting with "Top out-of-sight" going through "bottom out-of-sight." The author speaks of upper-class as unable to think, middle-class as pretentious, and his disdain for the lower-classes is apparent each time he mentions "proles" (his word for the lower-classes). He obviously considers himself "Class X," which is the only class he likes: they have no class orientation, but make fun of all the other classes.

Some of the information is interesting and recognizable, but most of the book reflects the author's dissatisfaction with class. He may consider himself class X, but he's obviously middle-class and obsessed with class distinctions. Don't bother to read this unless you, too, are a middle-class pretender to class X.

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