The Bizarre and Jejune

George Neumayr, The American Spectator, January 2014.


At 82, Tom Wolfe stands as one of America’s most venerable writers. Over a 50-year career, which began with an obscure reporting job he took as a break from his Ph.D. work in American Studies at Yale University, he has produced a steady stream of consequential articles and books, many of them culture-changing bestsellers: The Right Stuff, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, The Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full.

And he is not done. In 2014, he will publish a new work of nonfiction. Titled The Kingdom of Speech, the book, according to publisher Little, Brown, will range “from 19th-century anti-Darwinism to current scholarship proposing that humans are divided from animals by their power of speech.”

Cementing Wolfe’s status as one of the great chroniclers of life in America’s greatest city, the New York Public Library in November purchased his papers and letters for $2.15 million. Wolfe recently reflected in an interview with TAS contributing editor George Neumayr at his apartment on the Upper East Side.

American Spectator