The Classmates: Privilege, Chaos, and the End of an Era

Geoffrey Douglas, Author . Hyperion $23.95 (239p) ISBN 978-1-4013-0196-5

In his autobiographical Class: The Wreckage of an American Family , Douglas shed light on the dysfunctions of class in America. Returning again to his own story in this book, Douglas explores the experiences of his high school cohort at St. Paul's School, class of 1962. Forty years back, when Douglas attended this preppy boarding school, it was not only all male, but “a hard place... meant to harden and deprive.” The snobbish, Brooks Brothers–clad “Regs” (for regular guys) routinely humiliated the boys who didn't fit in; teachers freely abused students as well. For many, coming from generations of successful alums, St. Paul's was an “expectations mill,” the pressure to succeed relentless. The last classmate Douglas visited, former presidential candidate John Kerry, was one of the few unscarred by St. Paul's, although he's also the one interviewee Douglas couldn't connect with: their interview boiled down to “a senator not known for his looseness being solicited by an old classmate he only vaguely remembered who wanted to talk about old times... a bad script.” (June)

Reviewed on: 03/24/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction


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