Domhoff (Fat Cats and Democrats, 1972, KR, p. 559) posits the thesis that there is indeed an identifiable ruling class in...

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THE BOHEMIAN GROVE & OTHER RETREATS: A Study in Ruling-Class Cohesiveness

Domhoff (Fat Cats and Democrats, 1972, KR, p. 559) posits the thesis that there is indeed an identifiable ruling class in this country, that it's made up of one percent of the population, that it controls approximately 70 percent of the corporate wealth, that a cohesiveness exists which enables its members to direct social, economic and political policy -- a theory dismissed by social scientists, most of whom describe the power structure as pluralistic -- and that the retreats and encampments of the exclusive clubs such as the Bohemian Grove (San Francisco) facilitate and maintain the network. Whether or not this is true -- and Domhoff's simplistic arguments aren't likely to convince anyone -- what's even more alarming is the thought that the movers and shakers are the selfsame men who play cowboy with the Roundup Riders (a Colorado dub), ride buckboard with the Rancheros Visitadores (Southern California, of course) and whoop it up at the Grove's annual Bulls' Balls Lunch (an anecdote the author swallows whole). (Incidentally, this is the second attempt this season to break the Grove's supersecret cover; see John van der Zee's The Greatest Men's Party on Earth, p. 48). It's possible that the stringent membership requirements, high dues and long waiting lists may increase the stature -- especially among themselves -- of those who make these dubs -- Nixon is quoted as saying that while anyone can dream of the presidency, only a few can aspire to become president of the Bohemians. But to the rest of us, alas, the swells seem hardly more ominous than a bunch of tipsy midshipmen enjoying an R&R.

Pub Date: April 10, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974