BEYOND THE BOOM: New Voices on American Life, Culture, and Politics by Terry--Ed. Teachout

BEYOND THE BOOM: New Voices on American Life, Culture, and Politics

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A feisty sampling of neoconservative wit and ethics by a clique of young scribes taking an early and hard stand on the Nineties. Tom Wolfe introduces these 15 original essays by baby-boomer writers, editors, and professionals, many of whom have written for The American Scholar, The New Criterion, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. In a foreword, editor Teachout, a New York Daily News editor, describes them as ""politically and culturally right of center,"" educated and upwardly mobile, and, not coincidentally, good friends. He boasts that they offer ""no stale '60s romanticism, no wan '70s disillusion, no tedious '80s whining."" Instead, the common denominator is a stubbornly skeptical WASP temperament, ""politically heterogenous"" in the words of Richard Brookhiser in ""The Great Baby Boom Bust,"" but united around a distaste for ""reactionaries""--leftists, Sixties leftovers, and especially Marxist academics. Some examples of the boomer Zeitgeist are George Sim Johnston's ""Break Glass in Case of Emergency,"" a cynical appraisal of American pop culture and neoreligions; ""House Lust,"" by Maggie Gallagher, a soft feminist complaint about the difficulty of buying a home; and ""A Farewell to Politics,"" by Teachout, who explains his decision to join the Daily News as a necessary sell-out after the Sixties lost steam. Roger Kimball (Tenured Radicals, p. 326) logs in with another attack on modern literary theory in ""Requiem for the Critical Temperament,"" and Brace Bawer laments subversive cinema after The Graduate in ""Whatever Happened to Doris Day?"" A brash brass-gong of a book, militant, cool, and glib.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1990
Publisher: Poseidon/Simon & Schuster