Another great find from this week's NYTimes Book Review is New Yorker writer Tad Friend's memoir, "Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor.
The Times pithily describes Friend's book as recounting "with amiable nostalgia, the foibles and predilections of a declining caste." Although I'm not exactly from the Nantucket-summer-home set, I can certainly relate in a general way to some of the idiosyncrasies he describes.
A couple good excerpts:
“If Catholic guilt is ‘I’ve been bad’ and Jewish guilt is ‘You’ve been bad,’ then WASP guilt is ‘You probably think I’ve been bad.’ ”
“Visible striving or seriousness of purpose is unWASP because it suggests that you aren't yet at-- haven't always been at-- the top."