The Next Bonfire of the Vanities

Aug 9 2018

As The New York Times noted in its obituary of author Tom Wolfe in May, his wildly successful “The Bonfire of the Vanities” provided readers with “a sweeping, bitingly satirical picture of money, power, greed and vanity in New York during the shameless excesses of the 1980s.”

Being the thorough journalist that he was, Mr. Wolfe carefully and accurately described how the novel’s central character, Sherman McCoy, made his living as a bond trader. Of course, explaining how Wall Street works wasn’t the purpose or the main thrust of the novel, but Mr. Wolfe did a great job of laying out how the sausage is made in layman’s terms.

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