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Balsamic Dreams

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

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 26, 2001 – What distinguishes the baby boomers? According to film and social critic Queenan (Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon) in this witty, sardonic and heartfelt paen to his fellow aging boomers, they weren't the first generation to sell out "but they were the first generation to sell out and then insist that they hadn't." Deftly distilling the impact of a wide range of events in popular culture, he cites April 21, 1971, as one of "ten days that rocked the world" for boomers, with the release of Carol King's album Tapestry. Meanwhile, recent films such as What Lies Beneath and The Haunting appeal to boomers, he observes, with the message, "Just because you're dead doesn't mean you can't get your life organized." And, he asks, won't someone "admit that La Vita e Bella is Holocaust-denying crap?" Queenan occasionally belabors his humorous conceits (e.g., he ranks baby boomers as the 267th best generation, "right behind the Carthaginians in 220 B.C."). Yet he can also cut to the quick: "We abandoned the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed postdoctoral work in American Studies....We made millionaires out of nitwits like Deepak Chopra and Tom Clancy while geniuses starved." Forecasts:Queenan's broad, well-defined audience will eat up this cultural criticism lite. With a 12-city author tour and national print ad campaign timed for Father's Day, this self-proclaimed sellout will sell big.
Balsamic Dreams
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Jun 01, 2002
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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