Balsamic Dreams

A Short But Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer Generation

Joe Queenan

Henry Holt and Co.

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The author of the bestselling Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon takes aim at the boomer generation in a hilarious work of social commentary.

It's become fashionable to vilify baby boomers. Professional iconoclast and baby boomer Joe Queenan, however, takes a somewhat more benign position: Yes, the baby boomers are venal, self-obsessed egomaniacs blighted by an insalubrious interest in things like the provenance of their neighbors' balsamic vinegar. But this does not make them the "worst generation" -- it just makes them the most annoying.

In Balsamic Dreams, Queenan chronicles the evolution of his generation and critiques its current condition in chapters such as:

--J'Accuse: a bold indictment of the boomers' greatest transgressions, past and present
--Ten Days That Rocked the World: in which Queenan identifies the precise moments things went awry (#1: the release of Carole King's Tapestry)
--Careful, the Staff Might Hear You: an examination of the unspoken, nefarious alliance between baby boomers and Generation X
--American History: The B-Sides: an alternative version of the Republic as played out with baby boomers in the starring roles

A measured (if a tad cranky) assessment of a generation whose greatest sin lies in confusing lifestyle for life and pop culture for culture, Balsamic Dreams is fresh, funny, and irresistible.

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Book Excerpts

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Balsamic Dreams
1J'AccuseThroughout history, generations imbued with a messianic complex have inspired a wide range of powerful emotions. The Jacobins who decapitated Louis XVI inspired dread. The insurgents led by George Washington inspired admiration. The twentysomething barbarians who accompanied Genghis Khan on his pitiless campaigns through Central Asia and Eastern Europe inspired despair, the young Germans who put Hitler's name in lights inspired horror, the fresh-faced Frenchmen and Frenchwomen who built the cathedrals of Chartres and Amiens and Beauvais inspired awe.

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Reviews

Praise for Balsamic Dreams

"I've laughed till it hurt reading Joe Queenan." --Michael Lewis, author of The New New Thing

"When Joe Queenan is good, he's very, very good. But when he's bad, he's a whole lot better." --Newsday

"Half-Calvinist, half-nihilist . . . [He's] outrageously funny." --James Ellroy, author of L.A. Confidential

"Joe Queenan descs on our cultural detritus like an angry cormorant. And I mean that in the best way." --Bill Maher, host of Politically Incorrect

"Somewhere, Mencken is beaming."--Bruce McCall, The New York Times Book Review

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About the Author

Joe Queenan

Joe Queenan is a contributing editor at GQ and writes the column "Good Fences" for The New York Times. The Author of Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon, he lives in Tarrytown, New York.

Joe Queenan

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Available Formats and Book Details

Balsamic Dreams
A Short But Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer Generation
Joe Queenan

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
June 2002
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429936361
ISBN10: 1429936363
224 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
June 2002
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312420826
ISBN10: 031242082X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$17.00
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From The Publisher

Henry Holt and Co.

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