Below is the complete of review of the book – The Passing of the Idle Rich by Frederick Townsend Martin
Review of Book The Passing of the Idle Rich by Frederick Townsend Martin
In this book – The Passing of the Idle Rich, the author F. T. Martin identified himself as a member of the American upper social class of the mid-to-late 19th century and early 20th century. He died in 1914. His mission in writing (published in 1911) was to warn his social class that their “Gilded Age” was in decline, and to educate said social class in its need to reform.
Martin put forward the argument that the class’s conspicuous consumption should not have taken place. Martin believed that the “Idle Rich” would soon be faced with either social evolution, or revolution, if change did not come otherwise. He equated idleness with moral corruption.
In the early pages of the author did describe in brief some of the more notorious instances of upper class excess but he didn’t attach names to the perpetrators. Such specifics are to be found in more recent books about the “gilded age” of money spending by the rich of that day.
Author Martin’s writing style is from an earlier era. It is reasonably clear however even though is it unnecessarily wordy by today’s standards. In a way Martin was prescient about the future. Indeed it has come to pass that great fortunes are less in evidence now. The U.S. Gov’t of today is far less tolerant of immense, individual personal fortunes. The would-be rich now face taxes that did not exist in earlier days. And later federal Gov’ts. have come to represent the interests of such as the un-monied classes and labor unions rather than the interests of any latter-day gilded agers.
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