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    Throughout the twentieth century it's been pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of
    capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeoisie were the square, practical ones. They
    defended tradition and middle-class morality. They worked for corporations, lived in suburbs, and
    went to church. Meanwhile, the bohemians were the free spirits who flouted convention.  They were
    the artists and the intellectuals ó the hippies and the Beats. In the old schema the bohemians
    championed the values of the radical 1960s and the bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the

    But I returned to an America in which the bohemian and the bourgeois were all mixed up. It was
    now impossible to tell an espresso-sipping artist from a cappuccino-gulping banker. And this wasn't
    just a matter of fashion accessories. I found that if you investigated people's attitudes toward sex,
    morality, leisure time, and work, it was getting harder and harder to separate the antiestablishment
    renegade from the pro-establishment company man. Most people, at least among the
    college-educated set, seemed to have rebel attitudes and social-climbing attitudes all scrambled
    together. Defying expectations and maybe logic, people seemed to have combined the
    countercultural sixties and the achieving eighties into one social ethos.
           -David Brooks, Introduction to Bobos in Paradise

Such was the American situation as David Brooks found it when he returned after four and a half years abroad.  In Bobos in America, he does an excellent job of demonstrating that this weird convergence of bohemian and bourgeois has occurred among America's elites, and he offers any number of really witty, acerbic observations about the culture that the Bobos have created for themselves.  He does less well in assessing what the potential effects of this culture on the nation might be.  In fact, as a Bobo himself, he seems relatively unconcerned about, if not oblivious to, the very real societal dangers of the Bobo ethos :

    These Bobos define our age. They are the new establishment. Their hybrid culture is the atmosphere
    we all breathe. Their status codes now govern social life.  Their moral codes give structure to our
    personal lives.  When I use the word establishment, it sounds sinister and elitist. Let me say first, I'm
    a member of this class, as, I suspect, are most readers of this book.  We're not so bad. All societies
    have elites, and our educated elite is a lot more enlightened than some of the older elites, which were
    based on blood or wealth or military valor. Wherever we educated elites settle, we make life more
    interesting, diverse, and edifying.

There is simply no more significant human undertaking than the replacement of a moral code.  Western morality is the product of thousands of years of thought and experimentation.  The idea that the Bobo elite has replaced this traditional morality and that this revolution can be blithely characterized as "not so bad" is sort of irresponsible.  It badly weakens an otherwise interesting book.

To begin with, Brooks assesses the WASP establishment of the 1950's.  Despite some characteristics which are now unacceptable--exclusivity, anti-intellectualism, male dominance, alcoholism, to name a few--this elite was also frugal, self-disciplined, humble, and, most importantly, endowed with a sense of obligation, both personal and public.  The personal sense manifested itself in terms of a code of honor; the public, in an ideal of service to the nation.  Brooks cites Edmund Burke's description of the code of the natural aristocracy :

    To be bred in a place of estimation; to see nothing low and sordid from one's infancy; to be taught
    to respect one's self; to be habituated to the censorial inspection of the public eye; to look early to
    public opinion; to strand upon such elevated ground as to be enabled to take a large view of the
    widespread and infinitely diversified combinations of men and affairs in a large society; to have
    leisure to read, to reflect, to converse; to be enabled to draw the court and attention of the wise and
    the learned, wherever they are found; to be habituated in armies to command and to obey; to be
    taught to despise danger in the pursuit of honor and duty; to be formed to the greatest degree of
    vigilance, foresight, and circumspection, in a state of things in which no fault is committed with
    impunity and the slightest mistakes draw on the most ruinous consequences; to be led to a guarded
    and regulated conduct, from a sense that you are considered as an instructor of your fellow citizens
    in their highest concerns, and that you act as a reconciler between God and man; to be employed as
    an administrator of law and justice, and to be thereby among the first benefactors to mankind; to be
    a professor of high science, or of liberal and ingenuous art; to be amongst rich traders, who from
    their success are presumed to have sharp and vigorous understandings, and to possess the virtues of
    diligence, order, constancy, and regularity, and to have cultivated an habitual regard to commutative
    justice : these are the circumstances of men that form what I should call a natural aristocracy,
    without which there is no nation.

This is obviously idealized, but the point is that it was aspirational and represented the standard towards which members of the class were expected to strive.  But this elite undermined it's own hegemony when, true to it's own political ideology, it became more meritocratic.  As educational opportunity and access to the best schools were made more generally available to qualified students from every walk of life, a new meritocratic elite was born.

Perhaps inevitably, this rising new elite set itself up in opposition to the ethos of the Old Guard.  Brooks cites a typically perceptive notion of Tocqueville's :

    [his] principle of revolutions proved true : as social success seems more possible for a rising group,
    the remaining hindrances seem more and more intolerable.

They were, thus, primed to revolt against the prevailing standards of the WASP elite.  Coincidentally, or no, their rise came at a time when the ethos of the bohemians was also ascendant.

Since at least the time of Jean Jacques Rousseau, when the Industrial Age was still in it's infancy, bohemians, or more broadly, intellectuals, had set themselves up in opposition to bourgeois capitalist society :

    The bourgeois prized materialism, order, regularity, custom, rational thinking, self-discipline, and
    productivity.  The bohemians celebrated creativity, rebellion, novelty, self-expression,
    antimaterialism, and vivid experience.  The bourgeois believed that there was a natural order of
    things.  They embraced rules and traditions.  The bohemians believed there was no structured
    coherence to the world.  Reality could only be grasped in fragments, illusions, and intimations.  So
    they adored rebellion and innovation.

These two opposing worldviews tend to break down along business vs. artistic lines, but the divide also occurs between age groups.  There just aren't many older bohemians; after all, there's a reason they're called starving artists.  Rebellion, antimaterialism and "vivid experience" are the pursuits of youth.  Of course, it just so happened that the post-War period saw the creation of one of the largest youth cohorts that any mature society has ever had to deal with.  When these two trends, meritocracy and bohemianism combined in one generation they formed a volatile mixture and here is where David Brooks's analysis begins to break down.

Brooks recognizes that the resulting situation is unusual because :

    This is an elite that has been raised to oppose elites. They are affluent yet opposed to materialism.
    They may spend their lives selling yet worry about selling out. They are by instinct
    antiestablishmentarian yet somehow sense they have become a new establishment.

But, because he's missed a key element of bohemianism, he's drastically underestimated how unhealthy this dichotomy is ; that element is egalitarianism.  Where bourgeois ideals lead to belief that people rise or fall based on their own intrinsic merit, bohemian ideals lead to a belief that all people, all ideas, all experiences are inherently equal and that differences in achievement among people are based not on inner merit, but on sinister outer forces..  With a little further thought, he'd find that the idea of a meritocracy is irreconcilable with bohemian egalitarianism and that the attempt to reconcile them has created a schizoid elite.  Bobos accepted the idea that everyone is equal and then rose above most of the population; imagine the internal pressures at work in someone who's made millions of dollars but believes a homeless person could do his job, if only the breaks had gone differently.  The nation today has an economic elite whose economic success disproves their most dearly held ideological beliefs.

The book is at it's hilarious best when he is describing the absurd philosophical constructs that these folks have had to create to try to reconcile their conflicted natures, for instance, "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."  Likewise, the Code of Financial Correctness he propounds is a hoot :

    Rule 1.  Only vulgarians spend lavish amounts of money on luxuries.  Cultivated people restrict their
    lavish spending to necessities.

    Rule 2.  It is perfectly acceptable to spend lots of money on anything that is of 'professional quality,'
    even if it has nothing to do with your profession.

    Rule 3.  You must practice the perfectionism of small things.

    Rule 4.  You can never have too much texture.

    Rule 5.  The educated elites are expected to practice one-downmanship.

    Rule 6.  Educated elites are expected to spend huge amounts of money on things that used to be

    Rule 7.  Members of the educated elite prefer stores that give them more product choices than they
    could ever want but which don't dwell on anything so vulgar as prices.

He concludes :

    Marx once wrote that the bourgeois takes all that is sacred and makes it profane.  The Bobos take
    everything that is profane and make it sacred.  We have taken something that might have been
    grubby and materialistic and turned it into something elevated.  We take the quintessential bourgeois
    activity, shopping, and turn it into quintessential bohemian activities: art, philosophy, social action.
    Bobos possess the Midas touch in reverse.  Everything we handle turns into soul.

Now I have no doubt that this is what the new Bobo ethos tries to achieve, but it is just so transparently phony and hypocritical that it seems almost to be symptomatic of a mass mental delusion.  Turn on This Old House or the Home and Garden Network for a few minutes; does anyone outside of Bobo culture really fail to find these people laughably pretentious?  There is something psychologically unhealthy about a class of people who have to fabricate such patently ridiculous justifications to feel comfortable spending their own hard earned money, but that is where their guilt leads them.

Less amusing, but more troublesome, are the sections on Bobo politics, morality and spirituality.  In the realm of politics :

    Their political project is to correct the excesses of the two social revolutions that brought them to

    The bohemian sixties and the bourgeois eighties were polar opposites in many ways.  But they did
    share two fundamental values: individualism and freedom.

    If the sixties and the eighties were about expanding freedom and individualism, the Bobos are now
    left to cope with excessive freedom and excessive individualism.

    That's why the two crucial words in the Bobo political project these days...are community and

First of all, it's important to note that this is no different than the exclusionary behavior of any of history's prior elites.  Freedom got the Bobos where they are; now they want controls put on.  Second, the long history of mankind is one of a trend towards greater freedom; do we really want the Bobos stifling it?  And should they be viewed as benignly as Brooks views them if their project is to stifle freedom?

In the field of morality the Bobos are really conflicted.  Brooks writes of them :

    They have an ability to not react; to accept what doesn't directly concern them.  They tolerate a little
    lifestyle experimentation, so long as it is done safely and moderately. They are offended by concrete
    wrongs, like cruelty and racial injustice, but are relatively unmoved by lies or transgressions that
    don't seem to do anyone obvious harm. They prize good intentions and are willing to tolerate a lot
    from people whose hearts are in the right place.  They aim for decency, not saintliness, prosaic
    goodness, not heroic grandeur, fairness, not profundity.  In short they prefer a moral style that
    doesn't shake things up, but that protects the status quo where it is good, and gently tries to forgive
    and reform the things that are not so good.  This is a good morality for building a decent society,
    but maybe not one for people interested in things in the next world, like eternal salvation, for

This attitude of easy approval on Brooks's part is simply outrageous.  Peel back some of the pretty words and you find a Bobo morality which accepts adultery, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, and a host of other vices which they enjoy indulging in, but which have torn the fabric of society asunder, with particularly damaging effects on the less privileged, the very young, the very old, in short, everyone but the Bobos.  It is also a morality which hypocritically excuses real harms as long as intent is good.  This is the mindset that gave us the New Deal and the Great Society, sets of programs which assuaged liberal guilt but utterly disserved the very constituencies they were supposed to help.  Disguised as toleration and altruism, Bobo morality serves only the Bobos; it is supremely selfish.  And, though I'm charitable enough to assume it's an incidental effect and not the purpose of their "morality," it has served to lock the underclasses into an endless cycle of poverty, ignorance and social pathologies, removing them from the economic competition with the Bobos and their children.

In describing the burgeoning content-free religion of the Bobos, Brooks cites Francis Fukuyama's book The Great Disruption :

    Instead of community arising as a byproduct of rigid belief, people will return to religious belief
    because of their desire for community. In other words, people will return to religious tradition not
    necessarily because they accept the truth of revelation, but because the absence of community and
    the transience of social ties in the secular world makes them hungry for ritual and cultural tradition.
    They will help the poor or their neighbors not because doctrine tells them they must, but rather
    because they want to serve their communities and find that faith-based organizations are the most
    effective ways of doing so. They will repeat ancient prayers and reenact age-old rituals not because
    they believe they were handed down by God, but rather because they want their children to have
    proper values, and because they want to enjoy the comfort of ritual and the sense of shared
    experience it brings. In a sense they will not be taking religion seriously on its own terms. Religion
    becomes a source of ritual in a society that has been stripped bare of ceremony, and thus a
    reasonable extension of the natural desire for social relatedness with which all human beings are

This, of course, is the great insight of the Nazis and the Communists : that by providing social forms and rituals and activities which make the citizenry feel that they are a part of something, you can co-opt them into even evil pursuits.  Modern religions are increasingly willing to adapt their doctrines to suit their least serious adherents.  They are left with the structure of religion, but it has been drained of any substance.  The great term that Brooks borrows from a rabbi in Montana is "flexidoxy."  Religion is so flexible that it no longer requires anything of practitioners beyond participation, good will, voluntarism and charity.  An organization which takes no cognizance of the soul, merely asking that parishioners engage in certain activities, is a religion in name only.

Nor is Brooks content simply to justify the Bobo destruction of millennia worth of morality, religion and social structure, he slips into the classic error of hubris when he asserts :

    In truth it is hard to see how the rule of the meritocrats could ever come to an end.  The meritocratic
    Bobo class is rich with the spirit of self-criticism. It is flexible and amorphous enough to co-opt that
    which it does not already command.

Are we really so dense as a species that we will never learn from past errors?  Every ruling class believes itself to be inevitable and eternal; I call your attention to the Thousand Year Reich.  The Bobos are perched on a three part pendulum swing : a triumph of moral permissiveness over responsibility; of merit over entitlement; and of the economically powerful over the lower classes.  None of these is unique, though it may be unusual to have them all occur simultaneously.  How reasonable is it to assume that none of the three currently vanquished but historically resilient forces will swing back the other way?  Mightn't all three even swing back?

Take just one trend that must be troubling to anyone who envisions an Age of the Bobo : they don't reproduce themselves.  The ugly truth at the core of Bobo schizophrenia is that Bobos are still overwhelmingly drawn from the same severely limited socio-economic and racial groups that have historically dominated Western society.  They are still predominantly white children of the middle and upper classes.  However egalitarian their rhetoric, the product of Bobo "meritocracy" is as unequal as any elite has ever been.   But a quick look at demographic trends reveals that they are also a rapidly declining segment of the population.  When whites are no longer even a plurality in this country will meritocracy survive the competing demands of groups which, for whatever reason, do not succeed  in open competition? or will the affirmative action programs that Bobos now support, largely out of guilt, be used to keep their children, few as they may be, out of the educational opportunities and institutions which guarantee entree to the elite?

David Brooks is so bent on self-congratulation and celebration of his own cohort that he fails to consider any of these rather serious issues.  The result is a book that wittily describes a fascinating and important social phenomenon, but is willfully oblivious to the negative consequences of the social revolution it's author posits.  It's a funny book, but inadequate to it's purposes.


Grade: (C)


David Brooks Links:

    The United States is in the grip of a certainty crisis: Bush's waffle-free directness alarms the fashionably doubtful commentariat (David Brooks, March 07, 2003, Times of London)
    -ESSAY: Revenge on the Nerds: What's nerdy commentator David Brooks got against nerds? A peek into his grown-up, high-school world. (Julia Lipman, 02.03.03, Flak)

Book-related and General Links:
    -BIO : David Brooks (Weekly Standard)
    -The Weekly Standard
    -BOOKNOTES : Sunday, July 30th, 2000 Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There (CSPAN)
    -EXCERPT : Introduction to Bobos in Paradise
    -EXCERPT : The Great Bobo Spiritual Revival : The new upper class has returned to religion on its own terms. An excerpt from 'Bobos in Paradise'  By David Brooks (Belief Net)
    -EXCERPT : from Bobos in Paradise
    -ESSAY : The New Upper Class (David Brooks, Weekly Standard)
    -ESSAY : New-Class Nuptials (David Brooks, City Journal)
    -ESSAY : Grandees and Bobos on the Mainline (David Brooks, Washington Post)
    -ESSAY : What Ails the Right :  Missing from today's American conservatism: America.
    -RESPONSE : "National Greatness" or Conservative Malaise? (Virginia I. Postrel and James K. Glassman, Dynamist)
    -ESSAY : Brian Lamb's America (David Brooks, Weekly Standard)
    -ESSAY : George W. Bush should be president : Forget his image as a callous, empty-headed frat boy. People like him, and that means he'll attract and retain the best minds (David Brooks, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Buchanan feeds information age class war (David Brooks, Detroit News)
    -ESSAY : The Token Man (David Brooks, Independent Women's Forum)
    -ESSAY : Living-Room Crusaders (David Brooks, Newsweek, December 15, 1997)
    -ESSAY : Mayor Guiliani : The in-your-face moderate (David Brooks, US News)
    -ESSAY : Ralph Nader, Conservative Wannabe : America's most famous corporation hater has a surprising idea of who should support his presidential campaign. (David Brooks, Weekly standard)
    -REVIEW : of  The First American by H. W. Brands  Our Founding Yuppie Ben Franklin's America (David Brooks, Weekly Standard)
    -REVIEW : of Journals of Ayn Rand Edited by David Harriman  (David Brooks, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of First Son George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty. By Bill Minutaglio  (David Brooks, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of PARTY CRASHER A Gay Republican Challenges Politics as Usual. By Richard Tafel (David Brooks, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of THE AMERICAN LEADERSHIP TRADITION Moral Vision From Washington to Clinton. By Marvin Olasky (David Brooks, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Two Lucky People Memoirs. By Milton Friedman and Rose D. Friedman (David Brooks, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Crazy Rhythm My Journey From Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon's White House, Watergate, and Beyond. . . . By Leonard Garment (David Brooks, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Democracy Derailed Initiative Campaigns and the Power of Money. By David S. Broder (David Brooks, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Feeding the Beast The White House Versus the Press. By Kenneth T. Walsh (David Brooks, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson (David Brooks, Commentary Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of Jew vs. Jew by Samuel Freedman (David Brooks, Washington Post Book World)
    -REVIEW : of Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money by James Buchan (David Brooks, Commentary)
    -REVIEW : of FRANCIS FUKUYAMA. The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order (David Brooks, Policy Review)
    -REVIEW : of John Wayne's America: The Politics of Celebrity  by Garry Wills (David Brooks, Commentary)
    -DISCUSSION : of The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy, by Nicholas Lemann (David Brooks, Slate Book Club)
    -DISCUSSION : Does Clinton Matter ? What effect has Bill Clinton's presidency had on American politics? How long a shadow will Clinton cast over the 2000 presidential election? Atlantic Unbound has invited The Atlantic Monthly's Jack Beatty, David Brooks of The Weekly Standard, David Corn of The Nation, and the historian Sean Wilentz of Princeton University to take up the question of the Clinton legacy (Atlantic Monthly)
    -DISCUSSION : How Would Al Gore Govern in Foreign Policy?  : Moderators : E.J. Dionne, Washington Post & David Brooks, Weekly Standard (American Enterprise Institute)
    -DISCUSSION : The Coming Trial : Tom Oliphant, a columnist for The Boston Globe, and David Brooks, senior editor at The Weekly Standard, analyze today's developments on Capitol Hill and the beginning of the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. (Online Newshour, PBS)
    -DISCUSSION : "The Heart and Soul of Conservatism" GUESTS: Christopher DeMuth John Judis David Brooks Bill Kauffman (Airdate: March 22, 1996, Think Tank, PBS)
    -INTERVIEW : with David Brooks A Kinder Gentler Overclass (Atlantic Monthly)
    -INTERVIEW : with David Brooks (Gwen Ifill, The Online Newshour, PBS)
    -INTERVIEW : The Media at the Millennium: Interview with David Brooks (Ilyse Veron, NewsWatch)
    -SLATE DIALOGUE : Is Washington Washed Up? by David Brooks and Michael Elliott (Slate)
    -CHAT : with David Brooks (Newsweek)
    -ARCHIVES : "david brooks" (Slate)
    -ESSAY : The McCain Insurrection (William Kristol & David Brooks, Weekly Standard)
    -REVIEW : The Conservative Conundrum : The clash of the old Republican movement against McCain's rebels may point the way to yet another noble conservative defeat  (David Brooks, Newsweek)
    -ESSAY : Zeus Bless America (Marvin Olasky)
    -ESSAY : Bush's "compassionate" advisor singles out Jews : Professor says he didn't know the three writers "with holes in their souls" were Jewish. (JAKE TAPPER, Salon)
    -ESSAY : The neocons wake up : Arguing the GOP (FRANKLIN FOER, New Republic)
    -ESSAY : The trouble with TR.(Theodore Roosevelt) (Matthew Spalding, National Review)
    -ESSAY : "National greatness" : Looking for purpose in all the wrong places (Marvin Olasky, World)
    -ESSAY : Conservative Confusions (James Nuechterlein, First Things)
    -ESSAY : "National Greatness" or Conservative Malaise? (Virginia I. Postrel and James K. Glassman, Reason)
    -ESSAY : Liberals Are Dressing Up In Conservative Clothes (Doug Bandow, Cato Institute)
    -ESSAY : Not-So-Radical Republicans : Why the GOP budget revolution failed--and how it might succeed (Stephen Moore, Reason)
    -ESSAY : The Weekly That's Anything But Standard (Steven Harras, Pop Politics)
    -ESSAY : In the Culture War, He Accentuates the Positive : David Brooksís new book shatters some stereotypes. (Mike Potemra, National Review)
    -ESSAY :  Todayís Media Elite: Bourgeois and Bohemian (Catherine Seipp, MediaWeek)
    -ESSAY : Wealthy and hip - the Bobos storm America (Daily Telegraph UK)
    -ESSAY : What the Bobos are Buying (George Will)
    -ESSAY :  A Turning Point for Moral Decay? (Suzanne Fields, Insight)
    -ESSAY : Rethinking Republicanism : Mixing a new message for the GOP. (Daniel Casse, Nashville Scene)
    -ESSAY : Betwixt Left and Right :  A recent debate on Slate between gay left and straight right did more than just spotlight the Independent Gay Forum; it showed the difficulty the contending sides have had in finding a common language to discuss gays and society. (By Stephen H. Miller, Independent Gay Forum)
    -REVIEW : of BOBOS IN PARADISE The New Upper Class and How They Got There By David Brooks (JANET MASLIN, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos In Paradise The New Upper Class and How They Got There. By David Brooks (Kurt Andersen, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Alan Wolfe, New Republic)
    -REVIEW : of BOBOS in Paradise (J. Bradford DeLong, ECON 161)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos in Paradise (Clay Risen, Flak Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos in Paradise (Brendan Bernhard, LA Weekly)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos in Paradise (Bill Boisvert, In These Times)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Mark Satin, Radical Middle Newsletter)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos Bourgeois-Bohemian Rhapsody (Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Intellectual Capital)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (E. J. Graff, The American Prospect)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Allen Smalling, NewCity Chicago)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos Frappacino Generation By Scott Shuger (Washington Monthly)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Diane White, Charlotte Observer)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Kennedy Maize, Washington Pest)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Lawrence Henry, Spintech)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos The Bobo Future : "Bourgeois bohemians" wield inordinate power over how we think about consumerism, morality--and faith itself (Roberto Rivera, Christianity Today)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (JAMES LANGTON, The Age AUS)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos in Paradise (Gary Rosen, Commentary)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Thomas Mallon, Atlantic Monthly)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Jim Hanas, Memphis Flyer)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Ennui Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Annalee Newitz, sfbg)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos (Melinda Wittstock, Observer UK)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos Bobos "R" Us : David Brooks has seen the new American establishment -- and it is us! But has he discovered the power of latte-drinking, laptop-toting "bourgeois bohemians" just as the sun is setting on their glorious reign? (Daniel H. Pink, Fast Company)
    -REVIEW : of Bobos  Bobos in Purgatory (Diana Schaub, The Public Interest)

    -ESSAY : A Generation in Search of the Soul : Baby boomers lead cultural shift from religion to spirituality (Connie Lauerman, Chicago Tribune)
    -INTERVIEW : Lonely in America : Robert Putnam, the author of Bowling Alone, argues that the time has come "to reweave the fabric of our communities." (Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : A Cartoonish Elite : The voguish idea that America is run by a small group of brainy people is a wild exaggeration, but it has its political uses (Nicholas Lemann, Atlantic Monthly)
    -REVIEW : of Sovereign Virtue The Theory and Practice of Equality, by Ronald Dworkin  Impractical Equality  (Richard A. Epstein, Reason)