The Education of Oscar Fairfax (Google eBook)
In this wise and masterly novel, Louis Auchincloss gives us a man who takes the measure of himself - and his times - with the art and insight of a new Henry Adams. Linking three generations of a Wall Street law firm, The Education of Oscar Fairfax provides a revealing portrait of the American upper classes throughout our century. The story opens in 1908, as St. Luke's Cathedral rises stone by stone on lower Broadway and young Oscar learns a lesson in compromise at the knee of its bishop, his grandfather. His schooling continues at St. Augustine's, where he sees a schoolmaster's high ideals exposed as fantasy, and at Yale, where Oscar's literary ambitions are tempered by a brilliant but ruthless classmate who proves that "the juiciest tidbit for many a writer is the hand that fed him." As an adult, Oscar is one who profoundly affects others, whether he is subtly influencing a Supreme Court justice during the New Deal era, acting as mentor to a talented local boy in a Maine resort town,
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The education of Oscar FairfaxUser Review - Book Verdict
Born into privilege at the turn of the century, Oscar Fairfax slides gracefully through life from St. Augustine's (a prestigious Episcopal school for boys) to Yale to Paris, Washington, and New York as a valued member of his father's law firm. True, there are little crises along the way--the friend who betrays a trust, the protege who goes against Oscar's principles, the son who is so principled he almost leaves the firm--but by and large Oscar's "education" is hardly a matter of earth-shattering revelations. It's gently incremental, like the novel itself; Oscar's life proceeds episodically in "chapters" that could almost stand alone as short stories. In the end, Oscar comes off as a man working slightly against the grain of his conservative background, an enlightened snob who takes up good causes for more than glory. "Do I do it to flatter myself that I am at least a good man?" he wonders, and the charm of this character--and of the novel as a whole--is that the answer to that question is not so clear-cut. An urbane, civilized read that Auchincloss fans will enjoy. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/95.]--Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Review: The Education Of Oscar FairfaxUser Review - Goodreads
If you wonder whether you might enjoy reading a story by Louis Auchincloss, just read the chapter "A Man's Reach" in this book. Fantastic. If it does nothing for you, you may move on.