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Generation of Vipers

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  116 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Perhaps the most vitriolic attack ever launched on the American way of living--from politicians to professors to businessmen to Mom to sexual mores to religion--"Generation of Vipers"?ranks with the works of De Tocqueville and Emerson in defining the American character and malaise.
Paperback, 331 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 1942)
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Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I found this book at a bus stop when I was a teenager. It's mind-opening effect was profound and indelible. It seemed that the book had been left there for me to find. Ever since, I have not been able to convince myself that the universe is totally indifferent.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, 2017
interesting bits of thought, and a lovely narrator voice. on the same time incredibly dated and very ptetentiously opinionated in modt subjects.
Peter Lindsay
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a critical mind
Recommended to Peter by: communists
Although it could be construed as an exercise in paranoia this book is a fun read. Everyone, bankers, doctors, professors, gets a piece from Mr. Wiley so don't fret. Read it, be offended, and deal.
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I read an earlier edition in the 1950s.

One of the really good books
Travis Gee
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Like most, the initial sense of amazement at Wylie's depth of insight as a social critic left me with a lingering question about each 'new' issue that pops up... "Now what was it Wylie said about that?" If it doesn't spring straight to mind I go back to that well-worn first edition.
Mar 30, 2014 is currently reading it
Wow. This is a book to keep.
Oct 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a great, long-forgotten scathing examination of American morality and society. A bit too misogynistic for my taste, however.
Lancelot Fletcher
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in 1954 when I was 13. I thought it was great then. I am not sure I would have the same opinion if I were to reread it now.
Richard Lennox
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a radicalized college student in the late 60's, a creative writing instructor pointed this book out to me. It had the intended effect 0n me: there is nothing new to rebel against... It was still the same culture then, (as it still is now in 2012) We are still a loose knit society, saying one thing... Doing another... A blistering inditement of our beliefs and our actions from an extremely perceptive eye. It will shatter some taken-for-granted personal beliefs, that deserve to be shattered... ...more
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting but somewhat uneven. The bitter and erudite Mr Wylie was a couple decades ahead of his time on sexual mores, and does a good job on ripping the state of education, politicians, and statesman. He's a bit soggier when trying to postulate on his solutions for what he seems to think is wrong - name-dropping some of the biggies in psychiatry, rambling about "instinctiveness"... not so hot on that front.

His thoughts on women obviously reek of being a bit dated but probably have more kernel
Kate Donnelly
This was a book club choice. I had a deuce of a time getting into it. I did finish it. None of the characters struck an interest. The translation and ignorance of some of the topics was part of my disinterest.
Zack Walters
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book lives up to the hype! Its very dense in a good way, think like a chocolate fondue made from fresh Amazonian cacao. His slapping of the "American way" from the 1940's is still relevant today because we're still the same America!
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read quite a bit of Wylie when I was an undergraduate. I found him very thought provoking.
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Bruce Jackson
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Tie Webb
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Vipers' relevance today 1 9 Dec 03, 2013 07:36PM  
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Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, he was the son of Presbyterian minister Edmund Melville Wylie and the former Edna Edwards, a novelist, who died when Philip was five years old. His family moved to Montclair, New Jersey and he later attended Princeton University from 1920–1923. He married Sally Ondek, and had one child, Karen, an author who became the inventor of animal "clicker" training. After a d ...more
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