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About Tom Wolfe
Tom Wolfe (1930-2018) was one of the founders of the New Journalism movement and the author of such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, as well as the novels The Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. As a reporter, he wrote articles for The Washington Post, the New York Herald Tribune, Esquire, and New York magazine, and is credited with coining the term, “The Me Decade.”
Among his many honors, Tom was awarded the National Book Award, the John Dos Passos Award, the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence, the National Humanities Medal, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, he earned his B.A. at Washington and Lee University, graduating cum laude, and a Ph.D. in American studies at Yale. He lived in New York City.
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Titles By Tom Wolfe
One of the most essential works on the 1960s counterculture, Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Test ushered in an era of New Journalism.
This is the seminal work on the hippie culture, a report on what it was like to follow along with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as they launched the "Transcontinental Bus Tour" from the West Coast to New York, all while introducing acid (then legal) to hundreds of like-minded folks, staging impromptu jam sessions, dodging the Feds, and meeting some of the most revolutionary figures of the day.
"An American classic" (Newsweek) that defined a generation. "An astonishing book" (The New York Times Book Review) and an unflinching portrait of Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters, LSD, and the psychedelic 1960s.
Vintage Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities, the #1 bestseller that will forever define late-twentieth-century New York style.
"No one has portrayed New York Society this accurately and devastatingly since Edith Wharton" (The National Review)
“A page-turner . . . Brilliant high comedy.” (The New Republic)
Sherman McCoy, the central figure of Tom Wolfe's first novel, is a young investment banker with a fourteen-room apartment in Manhattan. When he is involved in a freak accident in the Bronx, prosecutors, politicians, the press, the police, the clergy, and assorted hustlers high and low close in on him, licking their chops and giving us a gargantuan helping of the human comedy, of New York in the 1980s, a city boiling over with racial and ethnic hostilities and burning with the itch to Grab It Now.
Wolfe's novel is a big, panoramic story of the metropolis that reinforces the author's reputation as the foremost chronicler of the way we live in America.
From "America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)
Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.
Big men. Big money. Big games. Big libidos. Big trouble.
A decade ago, The Bonfire of the Vanities defined an era--and established Tom Wolfe as our prime fictional chronicler of America at its most outrageous and alive. This time the setting is Atlanta, Georgia--a racially mixed late-century boomtown full of fresh wealth, avid speculators, and worldly-wise politicians. The protagonist is Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a late-middle-aged Atlanta real-estate entrepreneur turned conglomerate king, whose expansionist ambitions and outsize ego have at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 28,000-acre quail-shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife--and a half-empty office tower with a staggering load of debt. When star running back Fareek Fanon--the pride of one of Atlanta's grimmest slums--is accused of raping an Atlanta blueblood's daughter, the city's delicate racial balance is shattered overnight. Networks of illegal Asian immigrants crisscrossing the continent, daily life behind bars, shady real-estate syndicates, cast-off first wives of the corporate elite, the racially charged politics of college sports--Wolfe shows us the disparate worlds of contemporary America with all the verve, wit, and insight that have made him our most phenomenal, most admired contemporary novelist.
A Man in Full is a 1998 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.
"America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek) trains his satirical eye on Modern Art in this "masterpiece" (The Washington Post)
Wolfe's style has never been more dazzling, his wit never more keen. He addresses the scope of Modern Art, from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. The Painted Word is Tom Wolfe "at his most clever, amusing, and irreverent" (San Francisco Chronicle).
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.
Dupont University--the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition . . . Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.
As Charlotte encounters Dupont's privileged elite--her roommate, Beverly, a Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont's godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turk of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the university's "independent" newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock-obsessed campus--she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.
With his signature eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the '00s. I Am Charlotte Simmons is the much-anticipated triumph of America's master chronicler.
"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.
Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech -- not evolution -- is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievements.
From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in the Kingdom of Speech.
After critiquing—and infuriating—the art world with The Painted Word, award-winning author Tom Wolfe shared his less than favorable thoughts about modern architecture in From Bauhaus to Our Haus.
In this examination of the strange saga of twentieth century architecture, Wolfe takes such European architects as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Bauhaus art school founder Walter Gropius to task for their glass and steel box designed buildings that have influenced—and infected—America’s cities.
As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay -- with officer Nestor Camacho on board -- Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor, the black police chief, a wanna-go-muckraking young journalist and his Yale-marinated editor; an Anglo sex-addiction psychiatrist and his Latina nurse by day, loin lock by night-until lately, the love of Nestor's life; a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti and her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin' little brother; a billionaire porn addict, crack dealers in the 'hoods, "de-skilled" conceptual artists at the Miami Art Basel Fair, "spectators" at the annual Biscayne Bay regatta looking only for that night's orgy, yenta-heavy ex-New Yorkers at an "Active Adult" condo, and a nest of shady Russians.
Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous bestselling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.