For me, nobody today--in journalism or fiction--writes with the intellectual and literary sophistication that Tom Wolfe brings to all his work, both fiction and journalistic essays. Wolfe is an astute and sharp observer of inflated human pretensions and folly. He gently mocks the human vanity in all of us, not to offend, but to show and reform. His book: Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers(included in the Purple Decades) must be the funniest and most acute observation of self-deluding human vanity in non-fiction today. The Purple Decades is a selection of Wolfe's best non-fiction work from the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, and is the perfect introduction to his work. It is ideal for "dipping into" and is a book I keep by the bedside.