The Decline of the Wasp

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Simon & Schuster, 1971 - Social Science - 255 pages
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In this original and controversial examination of the American experience, Peter Schrag traces the rise, flowering and fall of the quintessential American type: the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, founder of the country, tamer of the wilderness, definer of our history, inventor of the Protestant Ethic, amasser of the great fortunes, but as of 1970 gradually declining into a beleaguered and self-critical minority group, receding in the rising tide of Jewish writers, Black revolutionaries, Irish-Catholic politicians, respectable mafiosi--the Others, who reject the hegemony and the dreams of the WASP, or else embrace and imitate them, creating a vast national hinterland of neo-WASP styles and artifacts. Peter Schrag examines the WASP myth, the reality of a WASP-imposed culture on a diverse and complex society, and the consequences of the WASP's declining power and self-confidence. At a time when the entire nation was suffering from an identity crisis, this book went straight to the basic question of just what an American was, is and can be.--From publisher description.

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