The Official Preppy Handbook Paperback – Oct 1980
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The Official Preppy Handbook
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
very nice book, a classic
really funny parts and some thnigs are very actual despite the year in wich it has been published
Extemely accurate description is now a sort of litmus test for the modern preppy: if you think that boat shoes, polo shirts with upturned collars, and cuffed khakis are... Read morePublished on April 25 2004
As a teenage tourist who frequented the U.S. during the early eighties, a copy of Lisa Birnbach's TOPH was a guide to the world of preparatory schools, Ivy league and Brooks... Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2003