Private: Denby goes down

I’ve spent more time than I care to admit trying to capture the spirit and insight of Chris Lehmann’s most recent book review, and I keep coming up short.

Ostensibly a consideration of David Denby’s new memoir, American Sucker, Lehmann’s critique serves also to implicate the opportunism and greed of the Boomers during the late 90’s Nasdaq boom and the petulance with which individual investors greeted losses resulting from the tech-sector downturn.

“Why, pray tell,” Lehmann asks, “should we interpret greed as a function of individual acts of ‘dishonesty, false promises, and fantasy’ … when the economy at large, and most especially the stock market, is skewed so overwhelmingly toward the less colorful but far more damaging interests of large corporations and institutions?”

I urge you to read the entire review, but in case you’re not yet convinced I’ll excerpt the same paragraph highlighted earlier at TMFTML:

[Denby’s] warmed-over Horatio Alger rhetoric is very hard to stomach coming from a man cushioned in a handsomely paid magazine job, trying to stake himself to a stock market windfall in order to keep control of a $1.4 million apartment financed largely by his own family inheritance — someone who spent not one but two tours of duty at an Ivy League university, subsidized the second time via the good graces of a book contract. Bleary-eyed community college night classes, indeed.