Houghton Mifflin / 2006-07-05出版

Just as his best-selling Snobbery argued that contemporary American snobbery isn't what it used to be, Friendship: An Expos begins with Joseph Epstein's feeling that friendship, too, is somehow different today. From the idealization of "family time" to the acceptance of gender equality, from technological leaps like e-mail and instant messaging to the (very recent) assumption that your spouse will be your best friend, Epstein charts the unexpected and surprising forces that have squeezed and shaped friendship. In the process, he sketches a witty and incisive anatomy of the modern version: its duties and requirements ("Reciprocity, or Is It Obligation?"), the various kinds of friendships ("A Little Taxonomy of Friends"), the differences between male and female friendships, the complications marriage creates ("Friendship's New Rival"), even what happens when sex enters the equation. Moving easily from Aristotle to Seinfeld, and drawing on his own experiences with people great (Saul Bellow and Ralph Ellison) and unknown (an army bunkmate), Epstein uncovers the surprising and hidden truths of friendships and so inspires us to reconsider our own.

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