2 Baltzell documented significant status competition and anxiety within the upper class, but this was different in character from that experienced by lower and middle classes trying to enter the upper class as well as from that of the arriviste.
3 “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” was written in 1937.
4 This is different from the Indian caste system. Interestingly, Baltzell says that his concept of caste makes an upper class unstable whereas India’s caste system has been extraordinarily stable.
5 To this day, the main Republican Party state event in Connecticut is named the Prescott Bush Dinner after George H. W. Bush’s father, a senator from that state.
6 The last prominent Adams, Charles Francis Adams IV, great-great-grandson of John Quincy Adams, a World War II naval officer, and former president of Raytheon, died in 1999, a mere twenty-two years ago.
7 Irving Kristol, “On Corporate Capitalism in America,” Public Interest no. 41 (Fall 1975): 124–41.
8 Julius Krein, “James Burnham’s Managerial Elite,” American Affairs 1, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 126–51.
9 A widely repeated if possibly apocryphal story has it that Barry Goldwater, half-Jewish but raised Episcopalian, said after being blackballed from an Arizona country club, “Since I’m only half-Jewish, can I join if I only play nine holes?”
10 J. P. Morgan once said, “You can do business with anyone, but only sail with a gentleman.” The WASPs thus recognized that their Jewish friends were gentlemen, but refused to officially accord them that status.
11 Tom Wolfe, “Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s,” New York Magazine, June 8, 1970.
12 Today, Boston remains by far the whitest very large metropolitan area in America.
13 As described in David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed (Oxford University Press, 1989), which looks at the folkways of four of the original British settler groups of the United States—the Puritans in Massachusetts, the Quakers in Pennsylvania, the Cavaliers in Virginia, and the Scots-Irish in the Appalachians—the Quakers are the only group remotely relatable to a contemporary American.
14 Mihir Zaveri and Dave Philipps, “Backlash over Leniency at West Point After 73 Cadets Are Accused of Cheating,” New York Times, December 23, 2020.
15 Daniel A. Cox, Karlyn Bowman, and Jacqueline Clemence, “Hopes and Challenges for Community and Civic Life: Perspectives from Indiana,” American Enterprise Institute, October 2020.
16 Regarding this shift, Baltzell observed, “In our post-1960s obsession with social justice among class, ethnic, and racial (as well as gender) categories, we have witnessed a steady decline in personal morality. Today, it is far worse to be accused of being anti-Semitic, anti-black, sexist, or elitist than to be known as a consummate liar or adulterer.”
17 Baltzell discusses the accusations against Hiss but treats them lightly, only acknowledging that Hiss was in fact guilty in a footnote in The Protestant Establishment.
18 Ethan Bronner, “Witching Hour; Rethinking McCarthyism, If Not McCarthy,” New York Times, October 18, 1998.
19 Individual WASPs like FBI director Christopher Wray remain active in public service, but no longer as representatives of a class or bearers of class authority and norms. It is notable that George H. W. Bush’s politically minded children consciously distanced themselves from any WASP affect. George W. Bush appeared as a folksy Texan and Evangelical Christian. Jeb Bush converted to Catholicism.