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Author David Brooks to Speak at Wofford College April 15

Thursday, March 27, 2003

SPARTANBURG, SC—Author David Brooks, senior editor of The Weekly Standard, will be on the Wofford College campus on Tuesday, April 15, for a senior reading experience convocation to discuss his book “Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There.”

The convocation will be at 11 a.m. in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building. It is free and open to the public.

The non-fiction book was chosen for Wofford seniors for their self-proposed “Bookends Experience” this spring semester in response to the freshmen’s “A Novel Experience” program last fall. Members of the Class of 2003 had expressed feeling somewhat “slighted” by the freshman reading program, in which those students read Charles Johnson’s “Middle Passage” and which culminated in the publication of student essays and the appearance by the author himself at a campus-wide conversation. That program garnered national attention when included in a USA Today article.

Wanting their own experience, the seniors proposed the “Bookends Experience,” and Brooks’ book was chosen. The students will discuss the book over dinner with the faculty members who taught their freshman humanities sections three years earlier and will write reactions, some to be published. (In the freshman program, the students discussed the book at dinner in various Spartanburg restaurants with their humanities professors.)

The Bookends Experience will culminate with the seniors, and the rest of the campus community, hearing from and asking questions of Brooks at the convocation.

Brooks also is contributing editor of Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly, and a commentator on NPR and PBS. The “Bobos” to whom Brooks refers in his book title is a fabricated word indicating the merger of the status-quo upper middle class bourgeoisie of the 1950s and the bohemians (hippies, flower children, beatniks, drop-outs) of the 1960s and 1970s.

“This is an elite that has been raised to oppose elites,” Brooks writes of the Bobos. “They are affluent yet opposed to materialism. They may spend their lives selling yet worry about selling out. They are by instinct anti-establishmentarian yet somehow sense they have become a new establishment.”