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The Official Preppy Handbook Paperback – Oct 1980

5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Pub Co; Reprint edition (October 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0894801406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0894801402
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

The Official Preppy Handbook


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By A Customer on Jan. 11 2004
Format: Paperback
As a southern prep, I can certainly note differences in the typical northeastern (birth of preppy/typical preppy) life compared to the Southern Prep life. However, I cannot forget the day I received my copy of the book from my Dad. It says "A vintage copy of YOUR handbook, Dad, 1992," and boy was that true! I opened it and despite its 1980 publication date it accurately described my private high school in Atlanta! Amazing! And then it went on to describe "The First Apartment", "Getting Married", and "The Tailgate Picnic", all of which were hilarously true. "A prep wedding takes a whole weekend" being entirely TOO true; southern wedding + prep wedding = much more than a weekend. By the way, the "where the preps are" section is oddly still somwhat appropriate for Atlanta, my hometown, although the nightlife has changed quite a bit. I must mention that most of the photos are very funny, as they are obviously of the 1980s time and not current. This adds to the flair.
This book should absolutely be republished, with a more current focus. If I had enough money I would make this happen. And I would definitely include the Southern Prep as well as the Mod Prep. Please contact me if you are interested in a collaborative effort!
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By A Customer on Jan. 3 2004
Format: Paperback
The Preppy Handbook is absolutely hilarious. Recommended by a friend, it describes my world with stunning accuracy. It describes everyone in my neighbourhood to a tee. I finally understand why people in my college still wear (and have always worn) their collars up. I was in Bergdorf Goodman the other day, and I saw someone who was like me when I was younger, a child carrying his Brooks Brothers shopping bag (they have a new store four blocks away), wearing khakis, and of course a shirt with the collar up. Whenever I look at a lot of my friends/acquaintances, I can't help but laugh at the stunning accuracy of this beloved satire, with preppies still out there (though more hidden) decades after the first edition of TPH.
I guarantee many laughs. It's not only a fashion book. It's basically a survey of everything about "preppies" there is including: the cars that are driven; the old boys networks; the schools; the loyalty to your alma mater; speech patterns; sports to play (erg everyday!); preppy jobs; and the importance of partying hard.
The bulk of it is still pertinent, although they need to update things such as Abercrombie & Fitch; the preppy hangouts in various cities; the more diverse demographics and tougher requirements in the preppiest colleges and secondary schools (though most are still dominated by preps).
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Format: Paperback
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Many years ago I devoured this book and still enjoy browsing through it. Lisa Birnbach knew whereof she spoke. Her book is lighthearted, a riot to read, and so right! She brought back many zany, fun memories.
Preppy is a way of life that can't be adequately explained with words; it has to be experienced for full understanding, but this book comes close. My only quibble is that some of the cars described as properly preppy were chosen from a northeastern preppy perspective. But that's O.K. because most of the preppy schools are (or were) in the northeast. I fear things are changing and true preppydom is in danger of fading because of political correctness, dumbed-down testing, and deemphasis on social graces and academic excellence.
Like aother reviewer, I too attended Highland Park High School near Dallas, graduating in the class of 1948. The Official Preppy Handbook could have been passed off as our official behavioral protocol because it fit us to a T. We had our Buffy's, Skippy's, Myrney's, and Tootie's. We partied at the Dallas Country Club and shopped at Nieman's.
The social crazyness described by Birnbach disguised a firm underlying commitment to excellence later in life. Our graduates went on to become Olympic Gold Medalists, military Generals, Nobel Prize winners, and leaders of industry and government. The official Preppy Handbook will forever occupy a favored spot on my bookshelf because it brings back so many memories.
Even if you don't identify with preppy this is a fun read, and for the non-preppies it has lots of pictures.
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Format: Paperback
When I first moved to new York City to work in the corporate world I came across Lisa Birnbach's Preppy Handbook. Suddenly everything made sense. I could understand why the blonde vice president in the elevator had the "executive look" and I didn't. I understood the vague references. Coming from somewhere where no one ever had tailgates, much less parties on them, it introduced me to a whole other way of life. I needed to understand preppies if I were to achieve success in the East and Lisa let me know the code. The book is a wonderful piece of cultural anthropology.
I routinely recommend this book to talented kids from other classes and other places who are trying to make it in the Northeast. Along with John Molloy's Dress for Success, this book made it possible for me to adapt to corporate life.
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Format: Paperback
Last summer I shopping at a store in Bar Harbor and a group of kids came in: maybe in their early teens. Each was skinny, wore a polo shirt and shorts, had shortish hair, and a deep tan. I could not for the life of me tell if any of them were boys or girls. All I could think about was the Preppy Handbook, and how they describe EXACTLY that phenomenon in the childhood section.
Why is this book out of print? It was brilliant, is brilliant, and will always be brilliant! Anyone who lives in New England should own this book.
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