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Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit

by

Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“I am pleased to report that I am neither quoted nor even mentioned in the act of effrontery called Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit. I have been given to understand that, owing to his interest in such subjects touching on human nature as ambition, envy, snobbery, and friendship, on innumerable occasions its author, Joseph Epstein, has been called ‘the American Montaigne.’ This is a comparison I consider slanderous, for it would render me the French Joseph Epstein. Ridicule, n’est-ce pas?”—Michel de Montaigne

“Discretion, it needs to be said, is not Mr. Epstein’s hallmark, as in Gossip he blithely recounts the foibles of many of the famous of his time. Yet of his own lengthy and much-gossiped-about relationship with the Italian cinema actress Sophia Loren, the scandal behind his winning three equestrian gold medals in the past Olympic games, and his rather pathetic pretensions as pretender to the long-vacated throne of Portugal, he provides not a word. Odd, most odd, and yet the reader must not let this strange lapse to detract from what is otherwise a most amusing and bountiful little volume.”—Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de Saint-Simon

“Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. North America and all the ships at sea . . . Let’s go to press . . . Advance copies of pseudo-intellectual scribbler Joe Epstein’s new book on gossip, with its ill-researched tirade against the career of Mrs. Winchell’s little boy, went out late last week to leaders of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Yemen, and Miami Beach, where it will find the anti-American readers it so richly deserves.”—Walter Winchell

Synopsis:

A juicy, incisive exploration of gossip in all its forms--from celebrity rumors to literary romans a clef, from personal sniping to political slander--by one our "great essayists" (David Brooks)

Synopsis:

Joseph Epstein's highly entertaining new book takes up the subject of snobbery in America after the fall of the prominence of the old Wasp culture of prep schools, Ivy League colleges, cotillions, debutante balls, the Social Register, and the rest of it. With ample humor and insight, Epstein uncovers the new outlets upon which the old snobbery has fastened: food and wine, fashion, high-achieving children, schools, politics, health, being with-it, name-dropping, and much else, including the roles of Jews and homosexuals in the development of snobbery. He also raises the question of whether snobbery might, alas, be a part of human nature. Snobbery: The American Versionis the first book in English devoted exclusively to the subject since Thackeray's THE BOOK OF SNOBS.

Synopsis:

Is it possible to have too many friends? Is your spouse supposed to be your best friend? How far should you go to help a friend in need? And how do you end a friendship that has run its course?

In a wickedly entertaining anatomy of friendship in its contemporary guises, Joseph Epstein uncovers the rich and surprising truths about our favored companions. Friendship illuminates those complex, wonderful relationships without which we'd all be lost.

Synopsis:

A dishy, incisive exploration of gossip — from celebrity rumors to literary romans à clef, personal sniping to political slander — by one our “great essayists” (David Brooks)

To his successful examinations of some of the most powerful forces in modern life — envy, ambition, snobbery, friendship — the keen observer and critic Joseph Epstein now adds Gossip. No trivial matter, despite its reputation, gossip, he argues, is an eternal and necessary human enterprise. Proving that he himself is a master of the art, Epstein serves up delightful mini-biographies of the Great Gossips of the Western World along with many choice bits from his own experience. He also makes a powerful case that gossip has morphed from its old-fashioned best — clever, mocking, a great private pleasure — to a corrosive new-school version, thanks to the reach of the mass media and the Internet. Gossip has invaded and changed for the worse politics and journalism, causing unsubstantiated information to be presented as fact. Contemporary gossip claims to reveal truth, but as Epstein shows, its our belief in truth that gossip today threatens to undermine and destroy.

Written in his trademark erudite and witty style, Gossip captures the complexity of this immensely entertaining subject.

The e-book includes a sample chapter from Snobbery by Joseph Epstein.

About the Author

JOSEPH EPSTEIN is the author of the best-selling Snobbery and of Friendship, among other books, and was formerly editor of the American Scholar. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harpers Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Part I: Private Gossip

1. How It Works 1

2. Feasible, Uncheckable, Deeply Damning 11

3. When Is It All Right to Gossip? 21

4. In the Know 31

Great Gossips of the Western World, I 37

5. The Truth Defense 48

6. The Gossip Transaction 54

7. Need Gossip Be Trivial? 60

8. Pure Speculation 65

Part II: Public Gossip

9. Gossip Goes Public 73

10. Gossip Goes Center Ring 80

11. Shooting at Celebrities 90

Great Gossips of the Western World, II 103

12. Antediluvian Gossip 114

13. Literary Gossip 126

14. Gay Gossip 137

Great Gossips of the Western World, III 149

Part III: Private Become Public

15. Caught in the Net 161

16. Whores of Information 176

17. Snoopin and Scoopin 187

Great Gossips of the Western World, IV 197

18.Too Much Even of Kreplach 211

A Bibliographical Note 219

Index 223

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547844596
Author:
Epstein, Joseph
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Intercultural Communications-General
Subject:
Sociology -- essays.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20121131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Business » Communication
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Intercultural Communications » General
History and Social Science » Social Science » Essays
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies

Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Mariner Books - English 9780547844596 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A juicy, incisive exploration of gossip in all its forms--from celebrity rumors to literary romans a clef, from personal sniping to political slander--by one our "great essayists" (David Brooks)
"Synopsis" by ,
Joseph Epstein's highly entertaining new book takes up the subject of snobbery in America after the fall of the prominence of the old Wasp culture of prep schools, Ivy League colleges, cotillions, debutante balls, the Social Register, and the rest of it. With ample humor and insight, Epstein uncovers the new outlets upon which the old snobbery has fastened: food and wine, fashion, high-achieving children, schools, politics, health, being with-it, name-dropping, and much else, including the roles of Jews and homosexuals in the development of snobbery. He also raises the question of whether snobbery might, alas, be a part of human nature. Snobbery: The American Versionis the first book in English devoted exclusively to the subject since Thackeray's THE BOOK OF SNOBS.
"Synopsis" by ,
Is it possible to have too many friends? Is your spouse supposed to be your best friend? How far should you go to help a friend in need? And how do you end a friendship that has run its course?

In a wickedly entertaining anatomy of friendship in its contemporary guises, Joseph Epstein uncovers the rich and surprising truths about our favored companions. Friendship illuminates those complex, wonderful relationships without which we'd all be lost.

"Synopsis" by , A dishy, incisive exploration of gossip — from celebrity rumors to literary romans à clef, personal sniping to political slander — by one our “great essayists” (David Brooks)

To his successful examinations of some of the most powerful forces in modern life — envy, ambition, snobbery, friendship — the keen observer and critic Joseph Epstein now adds Gossip. No trivial matter, despite its reputation, gossip, he argues, is an eternal and necessary human enterprise. Proving that he himself is a master of the art, Epstein serves up delightful mini-biographies of the Great Gossips of the Western World along with many choice bits from his own experience. He also makes a powerful case that gossip has morphed from its old-fashioned best — clever, mocking, a great private pleasure — to a corrosive new-school version, thanks to the reach of the mass media and the Internet. Gossip has invaded and changed for the worse politics and journalism, causing unsubstantiated information to be presented as fact. Contemporary gossip claims to reveal truth, but as Epstein shows, its our belief in truth that gossip today threatens to undermine and destroy.

Written in his trademark erudite and witty style, Gossip captures the complexity of this immensely entertaining subject.

The e-book includes a sample chapter from Snobbery by Joseph Epstein.

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