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Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit [Paperback]

Joseph Epstein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 27 2012
Gossip is no trivial matter; despite its reputation, Epstein argues, it is an eternal and necessary human enterprise. Proving that he himself is a master of the art, Epstein serves up delightful mini-biographies of the Great Gossips of the Western World, along with many choice bits from his own experience. He also makes a powerful case that gossip has morphed from its old-fashioned best—clever, mocking, a great private pleasure—to a corrosive new-school version, thanks to the reach of the mass media and the Internet.

Written in his trademark erudite and witty style, Gossip captures the complexity of this immensely entertaining subject.

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Review

"While Epstein’s ruminations on how we became a nation of gawkers ring painfully true, it is his willingness to analyze delectable tidbits regarding authors, intellectuals and other luminaries that enlivens the narrative... Amusing and serious in equal measures, Epstein grants readers the pleasurable company of a master observer of humanity’s foibles."
-Kirkus, starred

"Delectable firsthad anecdotes and portraits...add to the pleasures of this serious appraisal. Readers who share Epstein's concern about gossip's power 'to invade privacy, to wreck lives' and his reluctance to wholly condemn it 'because I enjoy it too much' will find him disquieting and delightful."
-Publishers Weekly

About the Author

JOSEPH EPSTEIN is the author of the best-selling Snobbery and of Friendship, among other books, and was formerly editor of the American Scholar. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.


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4.0 out of 5 stars Did You Hear...? Nov. 30 2013
By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Epstein has a great style and is a prolific writer based on his observations of human behaviour. He makes the case that Gossip has impact both negative and positive and it will never be eradicated. After reading I made the case to colleagues that gossip is important to businesses and marketers because it is a ‘channel’ of communications that can be harnessed. There are risks associated with this idea but it is definitely worth examining. If you do not buy the business angle, then read the book solely for the enjoyment of this peculiar human practice.
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