The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit

Who knew Sloan Wilson’s 1955 bestseller was kind of like Catcher in the Rye, but for middle-aged professional people with kids? I just read the edition with Jonathan Franzen’s smart introduction (although I didn’t have a problem with the second half of the book like he did).

The WWII-veteran exec struggles with his own and society’s phoniness and in the process gets kind of pro-feminist and progressive about sex and power and work-home balance.

If Barbara Ehrenreich is right in The Hearts of Men, and it was in fact men’s dissatisfaction with being breadwinners that helped set feminism’s Second Wave in motion, maybe The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit is one of ’90s feminism’s ur-texts?


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