WHO TOOK THE GOLD AWAY by John Leggett

WHO TOOK THE GOLD AWAY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Freud never experienced a college roommate, so there is no universal social term for a relationship as fraught with cross pressures as the one that Leggett has characterized so well in these pages. The protagonists are narrator Ben Mosley and Pierce Jay and their scene is Yale in 1938, when their freshman class was less than 900 bulldogs strong. Leggett has been justly compared to Marquand for his ability to dissect the nerve-endings that quiver over social graces, the differences between the Ins and the Outs, the effect of money on manner, the brutalities of gentility. It's all here in a story you can't put down. Mosley is a scholarship boy and Jay is the son of an alumnus who left him a three million dollar fortune and a Yale legend to beat. At first, the relationship is that of a race horse oddly attracted to a mule --Jay is spotlight hungry and undisciplined, Mosley a solid, plodding achiever. Jay dominates through charm, recklessness, money and an insider's gift for opening doors to the private playgrounds of wealth. Mosley accepts, admires--and smarts. Their affection for each other is as genuine as their rivalry and this sets the tone of what comes after Yale. Mosley does brilliantly in World War II while Jay misses the hero status his self-image demands. Via Harvard Law, Mosley moves toward solid success, while Jay gambles everything on an entrepreneurial role in the infant electronics industry. What Yale put together, only the men involved can sunder and Mosley records every strain that leads to the final rupture of the love/hate (or better, gratitude/guilt) relationship that began in a college dorm. Strong sales all around.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1969
Publisher: Random House