By the year 2000 the term "working class" had fallen into disuse in the United States, and "proletariat" was so obsolete it was known only to a few bitter Marxist academics with wire hair sprouting out of their ears. The average electrician, air-conditioning mechanic or burglar-alarm repairman lived a life that would have made the Sun King blink.. ...
By the year 2000 the term "working class" had fallen into disuse in the United States, and "proletariat" was so obsolete it was known only to a few bitter Marxist academics with wire hair sprouting out of their ears. The average electrician, air-conditioning mechanic or burglar-alarm repairman lived a life that would have made the Sun King blink..."So begins 'Hooking Up', the first of the brilliant pieces in Tom Wolfe's new collection. Wolfe ranges from coast to coast chronicling everything from the sexual mores of teenagers to fundamental changes in the way human beings now regard themselves, thanks to the hot new fields of genetics and neuroscience. Hooking Up also includes Ambush at Fort Bragg, Wolfe's novella about 'sting TV', and 'U.R. Here', a story about a New York artist who triumphs precisely because of his total lack of talent. Funny, often savagely so, hard-hitting, wise, Wolfe remains a unique chronicler of America, and its future in a new age.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-10-02 Arch, vengeful and incisive as ever, the standard bearer for the chattering classes is back, this time with a collection of nine previously published essays, one new one and a reprinted novella. Ranging from the spectacular innovations of neuroscience to the preposterous horrors of the contemporary art world to a bare-knuckled assessment of the critical reception to his novel A Man in Full (an essay that appears for the first time in this collection, and that will set tongues wagging), the pieces run the gamut of Wolfe's signature obsessions. Fans of his character sketches will relish "Two Young Men Who Went West," a revelatory profile of Robert Noyce, a key innovator of the microchip who founded Intel in 1968, where the midwestern Congregationalist values he shared with his former mentor, William Shockley (founder of the original Silicon Valley startup, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory), grew into a business philosophy that's now so pervasive it's practically in the ether. Also included are Wolfe's infamous, irreverent profiles of New Yorker editors Harold Ross and William Shawn, originally published in 1968. Lopped off of Wolfe's most recent fiction opus, the novella "Ambush in Fort Bragg" concerns a "TV sting" run amok, and sits easily next to his journalism. However, Wolfe's meticulous eye for detail shows signs of jaundice in his hectoring anti-Communist tirades and in the title essay, which turns a snide backward glance on the turn of the millennium. Still, his fans will find plenty of evidence that Wolfe remains willing to plunge into "the raw, raucous, lust-soaked rout that throbs with amped-up octophonic typanum all around [him]" and thatDespecially in his nonfictionDhe can still grab the brass ring. Agent, Janklow & Nesbitt Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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