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Flight of the WASP : the rise, fall, and future of America's original ruling class / Michael Gross.

"Fifteen families. Four hundred years. The complex saga of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite in America's history. For decades, writers from Cleveland Amory to Joseph Alsop to the editors of Politico have proclaimed the diminishment of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, who for generations were the dominant socio-cultural-political force in America. While the WASP elite has, in the last half century, indeed drifted from American centrality to the periphery, its relevance and impact remain, as Michael Gross reveals in his compelling chronicle of the WASPs in our history. From Colonial America's founding settlements through the Gilded Age to the present day, Gross traces the complicated legacy of American WASPs-their profound accomplishments and egregious failures-through the lives of fifteen influential individuals and their very privileged, sometimes intermarried families. As the Bradford, Randolph, Morris, Biddle, Sanford, Peabody, and Whitney clans, among others, progress, prosper, and stumble, defining aspects in the four-century sweep of American history emerge: our wide, oft-contentious religious diversity; the deep scars of slavery, genocide, and intolerance; the creation and sometime misuse of astonishing economic, political, and social power; an enduring belief in the future; an instinct to offset inequity with philanthropy; an equal capacity for irresponsible, sometimes wanton, behavior. "American society was supposed to be different," writes Gross, "but for most of our history we have had a patriciate, an aristocracy, a hereditary oligarchic upper class, who initiated the American national experiment." In previous acclaimed books such as 740 Park and Rogues' Gallery, Gross has explored elite culture in microcosm; expanding the canvas, Flight of the WASP chronicles it across four centuries and fifteen generations in an ambitious and consequential contribution to American history"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780802161864
  • ISBN: 0802161863
  • Physical Description: x, 470 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 449-451) and index.
Subject: WASPs (Persons) > United States > Social conditions.
White people > Race identity > United States.
Capitalism > Religious aspects > Protestant churches.
United States > Race relations > Political aspects.

Available copies

  • 0 of 3 copies available at York County Libraries.


  • 1 current hold with 3 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Kaltreider-Benfer Library Adults 305.809 GRO Nonfiction (Text) 34002001614946 Adult Area New Checked Out 12/22/2023
Mason-Dixon Public Library Adults 305.809 GRO Nonfiction (Text) 34262000918637 Main Room New Checked Out 12/13/2023
Paul Smith Library of Southern York County Adults 305.809 GRO Nonfiction (Text) 34318001238399 Adult Area New Checked Out 12/16/2023

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