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Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There (2000)

by David Brooks

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1,460239,733 (3.46)20
Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature? Do you work for one of those visionary software companies where people come to work wearing hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot? If so, you might be a Bobo. In his bestselling work of "comic sociology," David Brooks coins a new word, Bobo, to describe today's upper class -- those who have wed the bourgeois world of capitalist enterprise to the hippie values of the bohemian counterculture. Their hybrid lifestyle is the atmosphere we breathe, and in this witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age, Brooks has defined a new generation.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
This is really a 4.5 star book but I settled on 4 in the end. It is obviously interesting and inherently unfair to judge it by reading it 16 years after it was written but so be it. I found the underlying ideas in this book to be very interesting but I occasionally found his examples to be unfair. For instance I think when traveling it DOES make sense to sometimes not go to the over popular site (the Serengeti) but instead find a less visited version of the same genre. He attributes this to a snobbism that forces one to eschew anything that is popular with the masses. I see it as a rational choice to get more out of your time, for instance in the Louvre my time in the Mona Lisa room will be measured in milliseconds. I want to see and experience things not check things off a checklist. Despite that example, I think the Travel Snob section was my favorite and his recounting of his trip to the REI store in Seattle had me laughing out loud. All in all a very insightful book and one that has caused me to do some thinking. I'll never tire of that happening to me. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
It is really interesting to read this book in light of the fact that it was written in 2000, before the economic downturn and the popularization of idea of "emerging adulthood." Yet so many of the things that Brooks addresses in his descriptions of the "bohemian bourgeois" are similar to today's emerging adults or "hipsters" -- the socioeconomic gap between the educated and the uneducated, the disengagement with partisanship, the vast pool of potential and freedom of choice available to the children of the suburban upper-middle class, the prizing of vintage and repurposed goods (or at least those which appear so). ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
What kind of person buys new furniture put through a distressing procedure to make it look old? Many of us, according to author David Brooks in his book, Bobos in Paradise. With keen insight and occasional wit, he dissects the urban educated elite of today, a weird amalgam of the bourgeois and Bohemian, or “Bobo” for short. Brooks sprinkles his book with a good dollop of research, which fortifies his thesis but feels needlessly academic at times. While there is many humorous rest stop observations along the way, Brooks takes his time getting to his punch lines; for example, the telltale tendency for Bobos to feel everything in their life must be approached as if it’s an aptitude test, including comfortless vacations that serve as grueling endurance tests rather than relaxing and enjoyable getaways. If you want to know who the Bobos are around us, read this book. Be warned however, you find you’re holding a mirror. ( )
  sixslug | Jan 18, 2015 |
Gross oversimplification I thought, though it went on and on and on and on......
  MissJessie | Oct 16, 2013 |
sad to see all of the thinkers and activists of the 60's that sold out to their new establishment so much of having it all rather than being it all ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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I'm not sure I'd like to be one of the people featured on the New York Times weddings page, but I know I'd like to be the father of one of them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature? Do you work for one of those visionary software companies where people come to work wearing hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot? If so, you might be a Bobo. In his bestselling work of "comic sociology," David Brooks coins a new word, Bobo, to describe today's upper class -- those who have wed the bourgeois world of capitalist enterprise to the hippie values of the bohemian counterculture. Their hybrid lifestyle is the atmosphere we breathe, and in this witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age, Brooks has defined a new generation.

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