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The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America (Aristocracy & Caste in America) [Paperback]

E. Digby Baltzell

Price: £28.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 1987 Aristocracy & Caste in America
This classic account of the traditional upper class in America traces its origins, lifestyles, and political and social attitudes from the time of Theodore Roosevelt to that of John F. Kennedy. Sociologist E. Digby Baltzell describes the problems of exclusion and prejudice within the community of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants (or WASPs, an acronym he coined) and predicts with amazing accuracy what will happen when this inbred group is forced to share privilege and power with talented members of minority groups. "The book may actually hold more interest today than when it was first published. New generations of readers can resonate all the more to this masterly and beautifully written work that provides sociological understanding of its engrossing subject."-Robert K. Merton, Columbia University "The documentation and illustration in the book make it valuable as social history, quite apart from any theoretical hypothesis. As such, it sketches the rise of the WASP penchant for country clubs, patriotic societies and genealogy. It traces the history of anti-Semitism in America. It describes the intellectual conflict between Social Darwinism and the environmental social science founded half a century ago by men like John Dewey, Charles A. Beard, Thorstein Veblen, Franz Boas and Frederick Jackson Turner. In short, The Protestant Establishment is a wide-ranging, intelligent and provocative book."-Alvin Toffler, New York Times Book Review "The Protestant Establishment has many virtues that lift it above the level we have come to expect in works of contemporary social and cultural analysis. It is clearly and convincingly written."-H. Stuart Hughes, New York Review of Books

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First Sentence
The idea of Equality, a vital part of the Declaration of Independence, lies at the very heart of the American Dream and has since become the basis of the various secular religions of our time. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark that endures - readable and full of insight 20 Mar 2002
By Snap, Crackle and Pop - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a serious analysis of class in America. If you are interested in understanding America and how it got that way, The Protestant Establishment should be on your reading list. Baltzell coined the term WASP, and broke new ground in other, more important ways in this book.
Baltzell is a very astute observer with a talent for a phrase, so the book is very readable. It's not particularly dated in style or content. However, it is a lengthy, serious study.
Though originally published in 1964, the insights endure to today. (Perhaps because the class structure endures.) Those interested in sociology, culture or an informed understanding of history or society will enjoy this book.
In summary ... "The book may actually hold more interest today than when it was first published. New generations of readers can resonate all the more to this masterly and beautifully written work that provides sociological understanding of its engrossing subject"--Robert K. Merton, Columbia University
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sociological classic 4 May 2012
By Esther Pascual López - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very interesting classic of sociological analysis of class and status in the United States. Very well written, perhaps a little boring when reporting details about people not very much known to europeans nowadays. I was lead to read it after having read Santayana's "The Genteel Tradition" and I was not disappointed.The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative Work on US Class Origins and Structure 26 Oct 2009
By Reader Melanie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This classic work should be read in tandem with its update written about 30 years later. Few analysts are as qualified as Baltzell to write about the American class structure and how it has changed over the volatile years of the late 20th century.

The original work was almost the only text avalable to serious sociology students of social differentiation at the time it was written in the 1960's and it is still the best work on class origins' effects on social values in this country, even today.
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