Triumph of the Yuppies America, the Eighties, and the Creation of an Unequal Nation

Tom McGrath (Author)


Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Book
Binding: hb
Pages: 336
Released: June 4, 2024
ISBN-13: 9781538725993

By the time their obituary was being written in the late 1980s, Yuppies—the elite, uber‑educated faction of the Baby Boom generation—had become a cultural punchline. But amidst the Yuppies' preoccupation with money, work, and the latest status symbols, something serious was happening, too, something that continues to have profound ramifications on American culture four decades later. 

Brimming with lively and nostalgic details (think Jane Fonda, The Sharper Image, and over-the-top fashion), Triumph of the Yuppies charts Boomers' transformation from hippy idealists in the late 1960s to careerists in the early 1980s, and details how marketers, the media, and politicians pivoted to appeal to this influential new group. Yuppie values had an undeniable impact on the worlds of fashion, food, and fitness, as well as affecting the broader culture—from gentrification and an obsession with career success to an indulgent materialism. Most significantly, the me‑first mindset typical of Yuppieness helped create the largest income inequality in a century.

Tom McGrath’s masterful cultural history reveals how Yuppies reshaped American society. It is a portrait of America just as it was beginning to come apart—and the origin story of the fractured country we live in today.

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