WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JARVIS COCKER In the summer of 1964, Tom Wolfe joined author Ken Kesey and his Merry Band of Pranksters as they set out on a trip like no other. Blazing across America in their day-glo schoolbus, doped up and deep 'in the pudding', the Pranksters' arrival on the scene - anarchic, exuberant and acid-infused - would turn on an entire counter-culture, and provide Wolfe with the perfect free-wheeling subject for this, his pioneering masterpiece of New Journalism.
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Tom Wolfe's The Purple Decades brings together the author's own selections from his list of critically acclaimed publications, including the complete text of Mau-Mauing and the Flak Catchers, his account of the wild games the poverty program encouraged minority groups to play.
"An excellent book by a genius," said Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., of this now classic exploration of the 1960s from the founder of new journalism. "This is a book that will be a sharp pleasure to reread years from now, when it will bring back, like a falcon in the sky of memory, a whole world that is currently jetting and jazzing its way somewhere or other."--Newsweek In his first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965) Wolfe introduces us to the sixties, to extravagant new styles of life that had nothing to do with the "elite" culture of the past.
"When are the 1970s going to begin?" ran the joke during the Presidential campaign of 1976. With his own patented combination of serious journalism and dazzling comedy, Tom Wolfe met the question head-on in these rollicking essays in Mauve Gloves and Madmen, Clutter and Vine -- and even provided the 1970s with its name: "The Me Decade."
Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers is classic Tom Wolfe, a funny, irreverent, and "delicious" (The Wall Street Journal) dissection of class and status by the master of New Journalism The phrase 'radical chic' was coined by Tom Wolfe in 1970 when Leonard Bernstein gave a party for the Black Panthers at his duplex apartment on Park Avenue. That incongruous scene is re-created here in high fidelity as is another meeting ground between militant minorities and the liberal white establishment. Radical Chic provocatively explores the relationship between Black rage and White guilt. Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, set in San Francisco at the Office of Economic Opportunity, details the corruption and dysfunction of the anti-poverty programs run at that time. Wolfe uncovers how much of the program's money failed to reach its intended recipients. Instead, hustlers gamed the system, causing the OEO efforts to fail the impoverished communities.
Tom Wolfe's second collection (1968) takes it title from a redoubtable surfing elite, many of whom abandoned the beach for the psychedelic indoor sports of the late sixties. Wolfe here continues his fieldwork among noble savages, from La Jolla to London.
- Presents the most important 20th century criticism on major works from The Odyssey through modern literature - The critical essays reflect a variety of schools of criticism - Contains critical biographies, notes on the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's life, and an index - Introductory essay by Harold Bloom"