Book Review: Know Your Elites

In Defense of Elitism by Joel Stein has a long subtitle that I am going to just people read in the little picture.  It is one of my few efforts to read nonfiction, but I hope to do better with branching out of my usual reading preferences.

Joel Stein is former contributor to Time magazine who was fascinated as to why Roberts County, Texas had the highest percentage of Donald Trump voters and decided to spend a week among the residents of Miami, Texas.  He was expecting certain unflattering characteristics about these folks and made uncovered some surprising truths about them.

Stein has probably many of the unflattering characteristics of those many assign to those who live in California.  Mainly he is a liberal elite writer who considers those of more conservative opinions to be backward, uneducated, and incapable of any reasonable coherence.

Stein discusses various types of elitism and is even brave enough to sometimes look upon his own peers with a critical eye.

I read this volume after it was selected in a book club in which I participate.  Just to be a clear, I am an unapologetic conservative Republican voter, so I was not sure if I was going to appreciate this particular selection.  It turns out that I could get through it without wanting to pitch it across the room.  Stein has an enviable wit in his prose.  One of the purposes of this blog is to work on improving my own style of written expression.  One of the purposes of the book club is work on improving on my range of reading preferences.

Did I get a little rankled at some aspects of this book?  Sure, but not as often or as severe as I expected.  It didn’t convince me to change my political leanings, but it did challenge me to examine them from a different perspective, and not everything Stein concluded is wrong.  I will allow other readers to come to their own conclusions or impressions as to what I may have agreed or disagreed with Stein about.

I also currently live in Amarillo, Texas which is not far from Miami, Texas so it was kind of amusing to read of a populace in close proximity to my humble abode.  Anyway, I would recommend a perusal of this book, even for those of us unapologetic Republican voters.

Next up, I am going to read a book I had picked up on my last trip to Ireland.  I will see what J.P. Donleavy has to tell about The Ginger Man.

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