The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby

– New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965.
Summary from Publisher: In his first book–a collection that launched its author as America’s foremost entertainer with something to say–Tom Wolfe took a sharp-eyed look at… More

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

– New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1968.
Summary from Publisher: For a start, Kesey’s own life with the Merry Pranksters is perhaps the consummate example of a phenomenon that, in 1968, baffled the national imagination: the… More

The Pump House Gang

– New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1968.
Summary from Publisher: Running throughout The Pump House Gang is the central theme of most of Tom Wolfe’s writing: Status. Much of the book deals with a surprising phenomenon in… More

Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers

– New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1970.
Summary from Publisher: Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, Tom Wolfe’s fourth book of social commentary, consists of two devastatingly funny essays, closely related in… More

The New Journalism

– New York: Harper & Row, 1973.
Summary from Publisher: “The hell with it …let chaos reign …louder music, more wine …All the old traditions are exhausted and no new one is yet established. All bets… More

The Painted Word

– New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1975.
Summary from Publisher: The Painted Word charts the erratic course of the social history of Modern Art from its beginnings in revolution–a revolution against literary content in… More

Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine

– New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1976.
Summary from Publisher: Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine proves again that Wolfe is a brilliant observer of style who is also a master stylist. He shows, also, the range of his… More

The Right Stuff

– New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979.
Summary from Publisher: Men first flew into space in 1961, but until The Right Stuff was first published in 1979 few people had a sense of the most engrossing side of that adventure:… More

In Our Time

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1980.
Summary from Publisher: Rumbling through In Our Time like an indoor temblor is the shifting moral terrain of America. Tom Wolfe introduces us to the inhabitants of this cockeyed… More

From Bauhaus to Our House

– New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981.
Summary from Publisher: As Tom Wolfe writes in his introduction to From Bauhaus to Our House,”O Beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, has there ever been another… More

The Purple Decades

– New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1982.
Summary from Publisher: It was in the 1960s and 1970s–those “purple decades”–that Tom Wolfe rose to fame as one of the late-twentieth-century pioneers of American… More

The Bonfire of the Vanities

– New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1987.
Summary from Publisher: Sherman McCoy, the central figure of Tom Wolfe’s first novel, is a young investment banker with a fourteen-room apartment in Manhattan. When he is involved in… More

A Man in Full

– New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
Summary from Publisher: The setting is Atlanta, Georgia-a racially mixed, late-century boomtown full of fresh wealth and wily politicians. The protagonist is Charles Croker, once a college… More

Hooking Up

– New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.
Summary from Publisher: Only yesterday boys and girls spoke of embracing and kissing (necking) as getting to first base. Second base was deep kissing, plus groping and fondling this and… More

I Am Charlotte Simmons

– New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 2004.
Summary from Publisher: Dupont University-the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America’s youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition .… More

Back to Blood

– New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2012.
Summary from Publisher: A big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now. As a police launch speeds across Miami’s Biscayne… More

The Kingdom of Speech

– New York: Little, Brown & Company, 2016.
Summary from the publisher: Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. THE KINGDOM OF SPEECH is a captivating,… More


The Last American Hero Is Junior Johnson. Yes!

Esquire, March 1965.
Excerpt: Ten o’clock Sunday morning in the hills of North Carolina. Cars, miles of cars, in every direction, millions of cars, pastel cars, aqua green, aqua blue, aqua beige, aqua… More

What If He Is Right?

New York Magazine, November 1965.
Excerpt: There are currently hundreds of studs of the business world, breakfast food package designers, television net work creative department vice-presidents, advertising “media… More

Reply to Dwight Macdonald

The New York Review of Books, March 17, 1966.
In response to: Parajournalism II: Wolfe and The New Yorker from the February 3, 1966 issue To the Editors: I like your Tom Wolfe issues the best. I hereby charge and assert…

The Secret Vice

New York Herald Tribune, 1966.
Excerpt: Real buttonholes. That’s it! A man can take his thumb and forefinger and unbutton his sleeve at the wrist because this kind of suit has real buttonholes there. Tom, boy, it’s… More


Esquire, July 1967. Reprinted in Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter and Vine.

The Author’s Story

The New York Times, August 18, 1968.
OUT of the blue one day — this was two summers ago — here came some copies of letters Ken Kesey had written from various hideouts in Mexico. They had been relayed by a friend of… More

Radical Chic

New York Magazine, June 8, 1970.
Excerpt: At 2 or 3 or 4 a.m., somewhere along in there, on August 25, 1966, his 48th birthday, in fact, Leonard Bernstein woke up in the dark in a state of wild alarm. That had happened… More

Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers

New York Magazine, June 1970.
Excerpt: Going downtown to mau-mau the bureaucrats got to be the routine practice in San Francisco. The poverty program encouraged you to go in for mau-mauing. They wouldn’t have… More


Harper's Magazine, February 1973.

The Intelligent Co-ed’s Guide to America

Harper's Magazine, July 1976.
Excerpt: The next thing I knew, the discussion was onto the subject of fascism in America. Everybody was talking about police repression and the anxiety and paranoia as good folsk waited… More

The “Me” Decade and the Third Great Awakening

New York Magazine, August 23, 1976.
Excerpt: The trainer said, “Take your finger off the repress button.” Everybody was supposed to let go, let all the vile stuff come up and gush out. They even provided vomit bags, like… More

Golden Age

– Review of America's Great Illustrators, by Susan E. Meyer. New York Times, June 4, 1978.
EVEN the most successful American illustrators of our time–who, I would say (since I brought it up), are David Levine, Milton Glaser and Paul Davis–will shed a tear or two over… More

Columbus and the Moon

New York Times, July 20, 1979.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s moon landing 10 Years ago today was a Government project, but then so was Columbus’s voyage to America in 1492…

The Simplicity of Line and a British Clutter

– Review of The Situation is Hopeless, by Ronald Searle. New York Times, March 8, 1981.
CARICATURISTS, as any caricaturist can tell you, live, work and die in a shantytown scarcely visible from that monumental Brasilia known as the world of art. Not even the young ones expect… More

The Exploits of El Sid

– Review of The Last Laugh, by S.J. Perelman. New York Times, July 19, 1981.
S.J. PERELMAN, it turns out, left behind four chapters of an autobiography when he died in 1979. He planned to call it ”The Hindsight Saga,” a perelmaniacal spin off ”The… More

Tom Wolfe at Columbia

Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, transcribed and edited by Kirsten Dehner, No. 7 (Spring/Summer 1982).
The following is taken from a seminar given by Tom Wolfe to students in the Graduate Writing Division at Columbia University on March 16, 1981.

Review of “High Life / Low Life”

The American Spectator, July 1982.
Jeffrey Bernard and Taki are two of the hottest tickets in British journalism. They write for the Spectator of London, in whose venerable ecru pages they stand out like a couple of yobbos… More

The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce

Esquire, December 1983.
Excerpt: In 1948 there were seven thousand people in Grinnell, Iowa, including more than one who didn’t dare take a drink in his own house without pulling the shades down first. It… More

Snob’s Progress

– Review of Cecil Beaton: A Biography, by Hugo Vickers. New York Times, June 15, 1986.
CECIL BEATON, who died six years ago at the age of 76, was an English photographer, set designer, illustrator, portraitist and writer. Critics used to argue over whether he was a true… More

Dangerous Obsessions

– Review of The Autobiography of Roy Cohn, by Sidney Zion, and Citizen Cohn, by Nicholas von Hoffman. New York Times, April 3, 1988.
”I went to work for Joe McCarthy in January 1953,” Roy Cohn told Sidney Zion, ”and was gone by the fall of ’54. Less than two years. But a lifetime was packed into… More

Frederick Hart: A Tribute

Weekly Standard, October 2, 1995.
Excerpt: Hart was discovered. . . by a stone carver from Italy, Roger Morigi. As Morigi’s apprentice, Hart learned to conceive of form in stone from the carver’s perspective,… More

Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died

Forbes, 1996.
Excerpt: Being a bit behind the curve, I had only just heard of the digital revolution last February when Louis Rossetto, cofounder of Wired magazine, wearing a shirt with no collar and his… More

Robert Noyce and His Congregation

Forbes, August 1997.
Excerpt: ROBERT NOYCE, INVENTOR OF THE silicon microchip and co-founder of Intel, grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, one of countless small towns in the Midwest that had been founded in the 19th… More

The Building That Isn’t There

New York Times, October 12, 2003.
Excerpt: Does the municipal log duly show that Brad Cloepfil, the architect about to transform Edward Durell Stone’s historic white marble Huntington Hartford museum on Columbus… More

The Building That Isn’t There, cont.

New York Times, October 13, 2003.
Oh, they had thrown a regular fit before, hadn’t they, they being the critics and the architecture scholars and the rest of the International Style crowd, over his American Embassy… More

McLuhan’s New World

The Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2004.
Marshall McLuhan (1911-80) was an unlikely prophet of the information age. One of those who first saw the truth in the vatic pronouncements of this obscure academic was a talented young… More

The 2 Columbus Circle Game

New York Magazine, July 4, 2005.
Excerpt: Over the past twenty months, the ranks of the building’s would-be saviors have swollen from a seeming handful of “cranks”—such as Tom Wolfe, viewed as a serial troublemaker… More

The Human Beast

– Jefferson Lecture, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2006.
Excerpt: Ladies and Gentlemen, this evening it is my modest intention to tell you in the short time we have together . . . everything you will ever need to know about the human beast. I… More

The (Naked) City and the Undead

New York Times, November 26, 2006.
Excerpt: CHIN up, tummy out, Aby Rosen, the 46-year-old German developer, owner of the Seagram Building and Lever House, was posing for pictures in front of 980 Madison Avenue barely one… More

The Pirate Pose

Portfolio, May 2007.
Excerpt: There are some heavy-hitting Medicare-qualified hedge fund managers, notably Carl Icahn, 71, and the home run king, T. Boone Pickens, 78, who made $1.5 billion personally in a… More


The Atlantic, November 2007.
Excerpt: Since you asked … the American idea was born at approximately 5 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 1803, the moment Thomas Jefferson sprang the so-called pell-mell on the new British… More

A City Built of Clay

New York Magazine, July 6, 2008.
Excerpt: Yet rise and stand he did. He introduced himself. His name was Clay Felker. He had a booming voice, but it wasn’t so much the boom that struck me. It was his honk. The New York… More

Greenwich Time

New York Times, September 27, 2008.
Be aware that your correspondent is merely bringing you the news when he reports how many people have besieged the author of “The Bonfire of the Vanities” over the past week with the… More

One Giant Leap to Nowhere

New York Times, July 18, 2009.
Excerpt: WELL, let’s see now … That was a small step for Neil Armstrong, a giant leap for mankind and a real knee in the groin for NASA. The American space program, the greatest,… More

The Rich Have Feelings, Too

Vanity Fair, September 2009.
Excerpt: Up until the tarantulas arrived late last year waving their billions in “bailout” money before our faces, there were ten of us, including the two Harvard algorithm swamis, who… More

Faking West, Going East

New York Times, April 24, 2010.
In 1871, Mrs. Stowe was living in a mansion in Hartford, when a 36-year-old writer came to town and built a bigger one barely a block away. There, practically next door, he proceeded to… More

Eunuchs of the Universe

Daily Beast, January 4, 2013.
Excerpt: Come join us as we go back seven months to the apex of the history of American capitalism in the 21st century. We find ourselves in a swarm of fellow starstruck souls outside the… More

The Origins of Speech

Harper's Magazine, August 2016.
Excerpt: Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a… More


In Chic’s Clothing

Time, July 2, 1965.
Pop writing! Op writing! Endless, streaming sentences with lots of dots . . . stretching . . . them out, and plenty of italics and exclamation points break ing them up, and anatomical words… More

Parajournalism, or Tom Wolfe & His Magic Writing Machine

– Review of The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. Dwight Macdonald, The New York Review of Books, August 26, 1965.
A new kind of journalism is being born, or spawned. It might be called “parajournalism,” from the Greek para, “beside” or “against”: something similar in form but different in… More

Parajournalism II: Wolfe and The New Yorker

– Dwight Macdonald, The New York Review of Books, February 3, 1966.
“Newspapers are only as good as the ideas and information they succeed in conveying. And this means not only putting facts down on paper, but doing so in such a way that they get off the… More

The SAME Day: heeeeeewack!!!

– Review of The Pump House Gang and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. C.D.B. Bryan, New York Times, August 18, 1968.
Tom Wolfe’s first book, “The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby” was a success when it was published in 1965, not so much because of what he said about… More

Dr. Pop

– Review of The Pump House Gang and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Margot Hentoff, The New York Review of Books, August 22, 1968.
Sometime during the early Sixties, trivia caught up with us all. Until then, informed awareness of the trifling or the grossly popular had been the mark of the young, hip anti-academics… More

Tom Wolfe at the Crossroad

– Review of Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times, November 25, 1970.
As everybody knows, a large part of Tom Wolfe’s “Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers” appeared in New York Magazine last spring. At the time it seemed the last… More

Journal du Voyeur

– Review of Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers. Jason Epstein, The New York Review of Books, December 17, 1970.
On April 2, 1969, twenty-one Black Panthers were indicted in New York for having plotted to bomb the Botanical Gardens, a police station, and several retail stores, including Alexander’s… More

Review of “The New Journalism”

– Michael Wood, New York Times, June 22, 1973.
The title suggests a long essay by Tom Wolfe, accompanied by samples of what the essay is about. What we get are three short Wolfe essays and a Wolfe appendix, adding up to some 49 pages,… More

A Curse on the Theoreticians

– Review of The Painted Word. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times, May 27, 1975.
One can imagine Tom Wolfe doing his number on Albert Einstein. The slightly absent-minded appearance of the young physicist in Bern. (Doubtless Mr. Wolfe would come up with an absurdly… More

Lost in Culture Gulch

– Robert Hughes, Time, June 23, 1975.
Over the past ten years, Tom Wolfe has set himself up as the Bugs Bunny of American journalism—a squeaky, impudent dandy with a glib eye for the lumbering victim. Toward the end of the… More


– Review of The Painted Word. Barbara Rose, The New York Review of Books, June 26, 1975.
In the spring of 1965, Tom Wolfe, a young writer with a growing reputation for a flamboyant wardrobe and an equally flamboyant prose style, met Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian professor with… More

Review of “Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine”

– Thomas B. Hess, New York Times, December 26, 1976.
Ten years ago, Tom Wolfe was a dazzling young writer with a noisy nosey style. Snap, popple, crack went the champion adverbs. Bop, bop, bop, responded the topical tropes. He could be witty.… More

Imprisoned in the Sixties

– Review of Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter, and Vine, by Tom Wolfe, and Winners and Losers: Battles, Retreats, Gains, Losses and Ruins from a Long War, by Gloria Emerson. Gary Willis, New York Review of Books, January 20, 1977.
The Vietnam war returns in these books, not to haunt us but to amuse. Everyone who touches that war gets tarbabyized by it. Gloria Emerson manages to trivialize by her very concern. She… More

Review of “The Right Stuff”

– C.D.B. Bryan, New York Times, September 23, 1979.
“As to just what this ineffable quality was. . .well, it obviously involved bravery. But it was not bravery in the simple sense of being willing to risk your life. . .any fool could… More

Hog Heaven

– Review of The Right Stuff. John Gregory Dunne, The New York Review of Books, November 8, 1979.
Class has always been Tom Wolfe’s subject, and I suspect the reason for much of the disfavor in which he is held. In what purports to be an egalitarian society, the existence of class is… More

Tom Wolfe: The Rolling Stone Interview

– Chet Flippo, Rolling Stone, August 21, 1980.
Thomas K. Wolfe Jr., now forty-nine, was an extremely unlikely candidate to be the writer who would happen along in the Sixties and propel American journalism into a new realism that would… More

Review of “From Bauhaus to Our House”

– Paul Goldberger, New York Times, October 11, 1981.
There is almost no one who is not bewildered by the events of the last two decades in architecture. Sleek modern buildings go up, covering more and more of the landscape with glass and… More

Wolfe in Wolfe’s Clothing

– Review of From Bauhaus to Our House. Janet Malcolm, The New York Review of Books, December 17, 1981.
“I’ve got Europe off my back. You’ve no idea how it simplifies things and how jolly it makes me feel. Now I can live, now I can walk. If we wretched Americans could only say once for… More

Review of “The Purple Decades”

– Paul Fussell, New York Times, October 10, 1982.
Here’s almost 20 years of Tom Wolfe’s electric prose, 20 classic pieces, including ”The Pump House Gang” (California surfers and their culture), ”The Last… More

Tom Wolfe’s Greatest Hits

– Review of The Purple Decades: A Reader. James Wolcott, The New York Review of Books, November 4, 1982.
Not since Garry Wills uncorked his rather fanciful notions on the origins of the cold war in the opening pages of Lillian Hellman’s Scoundrel Time has a book been so fatefully torpedoed… More

The Right Stuff

– Douglas A. Jeffrey, Claremont Review of Books, Winter 1983.
Excerpt: The right stuff is something that those who have it recognize in one another but do not and perhaps cannot speak of. More than expertise and more than daring, the right stuff is… More

The Wrong Stuff: Review of “The Purple Decades”

– Christopher Hitchens, London Review of Books, April 1983.
“Wolfe had the excellent idea, way back when, of being in the Sixties but not quite of them. His idea of participation was to appear, but to appear detached. The formula caught and… More

Tom Wolfe Tries New Role: Novelist

– Mervyn Rothstein, New York Times, October 13, 1987.
“It’s outrageous the way people conduct their lives in New York,” Tom Wolfe said. ”And yet I don’t want to live anywhere else. I don’t despair, because I… More

Urban Rats in Fashion’s Maze

– Review of The Bonfire of the Vanities. Frank Conroy, New York Times, November 1, 1987.
Now comes Tom Wolfe, aging enfant terrible, with his first novel, (his first novel!), six hundred and fifty-nine pages of raw energy about New York City and various of its inhabitants… More

Low Expectations

– Review of The Bonfire of  the Vanities. Thomas R. Edwards, The New York Review of Books, February 4, 1988.
Authors are not responsible for what even their friendliest critics say about them, and Tom Wolfe shouldn’t be blamed for George Will’s statement that Wolfe’s first novel,The Bonfire… More

Tom Wolfe, The Art of Fiction No. 123

– Interviewed by George Plimpton, The Paris Review, Spring 1991.
Excerpt: One of Tom Wolfe’s favorite restaurants in New York City is the Isle of Capri on the East Side, specializing, as one might expect, in Italian cuisine; indeed, the menu does not… More

Tom Wolfe’s Revenge

– Chris Harvey, American Journalism Review, October 1994.
Excerpt: A few decades ago, feature Óriter Tom Wolfe was pilloried in print for having “the social conscience of an ant” and a “remarkable unconcern” for the facts.… More

The Death of Sherman McCoy

– Michael Lewis, New York Times Magazine, August 18, 1996.
TO REREAD ”THE Bonfire of the Vanities,” Tom Wolfe’s glittering portrait of 1980’s New York, is to notice that something has changed since its publication nine years… More

New Novel to be Acid Test for Booksellers

– Doreen Carvajal, New York Times, June 1, 1998.
CHICAGO, May 31 — Hey! It’s Tom Wolfe! Star of true fiction, college anthologies and New York literati. From the depths of a sleek, black ship of the highway, he enters the… More

Wolfe Turns “The Bonfire” Upside Down

– Review of A Man in Full. Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, October 28, 1998.
While Tom Wolfe’s first novel, ”The Bonfire of the Vanities” (1987), gave us a satiric portrait of New York in the giddy go-go years of the 1980’s — those… More

Review of “A Man in Full”

– Michael Lewis, New York Times, November 8, 1998.
In the Norton Simon Museum, in Pasadena, Calif., there hangs a self-portrait of the 18th-century French painter Maurice Quentin de La Tour. The artist wears an expression of intense… More

In His New Novel, Tom Wolfe Unearths His Southern Roots

– Peter Applebome, New York Times, November 11, 1998.
NEW YORK — There was a moment after the salmon with Brittany sea salt at the pillowy corner banquette at the Carlyle, after the triumphant stroll up Madison Avenue, where East Side… More

A Snubbed Tom Wolfe Parries With 2 Men of Letters

– Martin Arnold, New York Times, December 10, 1998.
From where did all this fury come? Could it simply be that two of the most celebrated literary icons of our time, Norman Mailer and John Updike, are jealous of Tom Wolfe? In their reviews,… More

A Man Half Full

– Review of A Man in Full. Norman Mailer, The New York Review of Books, December 17, 1998.
…Three cheers. One has to applaud his moxie. Only an innocent or a simpleton could fail to recognize that a live hornet was being deposited in the crevice of every literary seat in… More

Review of A Man in Full

– Christopher Caldwell, Commentary, February 1999.
Excerpt: Wolfe’s second best-selling novel, A Man in Full, is intended to serve as another such work of reclamation. It is the story of sixty-year-old Charlie Croker, an under-educated… More

God and Man in Full by P.J. O’Rourke

– P. J. O'Rourke, Policy Review, April/May 1999.
Excerpt: Among the A-list big dogs of chic fiction, Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full is not da bomb. Of course, there’s vulgar success against it — cover of Time, phone number first… More

Who’s Afraid of Tom Wolfe?

– Mary Ann Glendon, First Things, August 1999.
Excerpt: Why does Tom Wolfe’s latest book make the mandarins of taste so uncomfortable? John Updike took a good deal of space in the New Yorker to declare that A Man in Full was… More

Tom Wolfe

– Cary Tennis,, February 1, 2000.
Tom Wolfe had been working at the New York Herald Tribune only six months when the newspaper strike of 1963 put him temporarily out of a job. He didn’t know it then, but he was about to… More

Both a Social Pointillist and a Cultural Partisan

– Review of Hooking Up. Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, October 27, 2000.
The reader of the new Tom Wolfe anthology, ”Hooking Up,” comes away with three impressions: that Mr. Wolfe is a keen observer and stylist, using his magnetic eye for social… More

In Wolfe’s Clothing

– Gail Caldwell, Boston Globe, October 29, 2000.
Excerpt: Wherever Tom Wolfe belongs in the pantheon of American letters, the man does know how to let the air out of a tire. Half vandal and half raconteur, he can deflate an entire city… More

The Man in White

– Review of Hooking Up. Maureen Dowd, New York Times, November 5, 2000.
I love Tom Wolfe. Maybe too much. Whenever some big bizarro thing happens in what he calls ”the lurid carnival actually taking place in the mightiest country on earth in the year… More

Review of Hooking Up

– Midge Decter, Commentary, January 2001.
Excerpt: All of which lends a certain extraneous interest to Hooking Up, a hodgepodge of articles and essays written on various topics with varying degrees of seriousness and aplomb and put… More

Caught in the Curve

– Review of Hooking Up. Benjamin DeMott, The New York Review of Books, February 8, 2001.
The title piece in Tom Wolfe’s latest collection looks back jeeringly, from a not very distant tomorrow, on today’s American costumes, affluence, and linguistic, intellectual, and… More

Lone Wolfe by Michael Anton

– Michael Anton, Claremont Review of Books, February 2001.
Excerpt: Tom Wolfe has been on a lonely crusade for more than a decade. His repeated calls for a return to realism in American fiction have largely gone unanswered. Makes you wonder.… More

So Where’s the Zeitgeist? It Looks Just Like College

– Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons. Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, October 29, 2004.
In a famous and much contested 1989 literary manifesto, Tom Wolfe called upon novelists to head “out into this wild, bizarre, unpredictable, hog-stomping Baroque country of ours and… More

Wolfe’s World

– Charles McGrath, New York Times Magazine, October 31, 2004.
Excerpt: Could these be the wheels of Tom Wolfe, 74-year-old novelist and former ”new journalist,” who at this very moment is holed up here in a rented house, same one he has… More

An Undergrad in Full

– Harvey Mansfield, Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2004.
Excerpt: Tom Wolfe was of course known as a social satirist long before he became the novelist we know today. One thinks, for instance, of “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide to… More

I am Still Tom Wolfe

– Lev Grossman, Time, November 8, 2004.
In 1952 a promising young pitching prospect out of Washington and Lee University showed up for a tryout with the New York Giants (the baseball Giants, that is–they hadn’t yet… More

School Days: Tom Wolfe pens an undergraduate novel

– Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons. Joseph Bottum, The Weekly Standard, November 22, 2004.
TOM WOLFE is America’s greatest living novelist. Kind of. Lord knows, he’s got the tools. Is there any author who understands the social meaning of clothes, cars, glasses,… More

Peeping Tom

– Review of I am Charlotte Simmons. Jacob Weisberg, New York Times, November 28, 2004.
It’s hard to imagine a tougher assignment for an aging journalist than explaining undergraduate life at a big American university. The project is not hard in the ways Tom… More

Pictures from an Institution

– Review of I Am Charlotte Simmons. Daniel Mendelsohn, The New York Review of Books, December 16, 2004.
Two unrelated items from The New York Times of Tuesday, November 9, 2004, direct our attention to crises in American higher education. The first, which appears on page A16 of the national… More

He is Charlotte Simmons

– Peter Berkowitz, Policy Review, February/March 2005.
Excerpt: How little the radicalness of the sexual revolution has been appreciated and how much questioning its consequences is deemed bad manners or worse has been amply demonstrated by the… More

The genesis of gonzo

– Marc Weingarten, The Guardian, September 2, 2005.
It was a story meeting to generate some provocative ideas for New York, the Sunday supplement of the New York Herald Tribune. Clay Felker, the magazine’s editor, had mentioned that… More

Big Man on Campus

– Michael Anton, Claremont Review of Books, September 2005.
Excerpt: I am Charlotte Simmons hit the shelves one week after the 2004 election, just in time to explain to perplexed blue-staters what people in flyover country are really like, and to… More

Status Reporter by Joseph Rago

– Joseph Rago, Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2006.
Excerpt: Tom Wolfe is a spry fellow, arch and gently convivial in his well-appointed Manhattan apartment. He is dressed precisely as you would expect him to be. Of course, this points up… More

Cry Wolfe

– Mark Bowden, The Atlantic, April 2006.
Excerpt: In one of many deft set pieces in Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons, a group of student journalists at the fictional Dupont University hold a meeting in the… More

Q&A: Tom Wolfe

– Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone, May 3, 2007.
The author reflects on his past, God and society.

Radical Un-chic

– James Panero, The New Criterion, December 2007.
Excerpt: Pablo Picasso was a fraud. So says Tom Wolfe, who does not like Picasso. This much was becoming clear. Picasso, according to Wolfe, “left school just before they taught… More

A Critic in Full

– Carol Ianonne, National Association of Scholars, August 11, 2008.
Excerpt: Iannone: Today is February 28, 2008, and we are privileged to begin a conversation with Mr. Tom Wolfe. I want to start by saying how impressed I was by your novel, I Am Charlotte… More

Tom Wolfe’s California

– Michael Anton, City Journal, Autumn 2012.
Excerpt: Tom Wolfe is most identified with New York City, for good reason. He has lived and worked in Manhattan since the early 1960s, and New York dominates his writing the way London… More

Muscle-Bound: Tom Wolfe’s “Back to Blood”

– James Wood, The New Yorker, October 15, 2012.
Tom Wolfe writes Big and Tall Prose—big subjects, big people, and yards of flapping exaggeration. No one of average size emerges from his shop; in fact, no real human variety can be found… More

The Right Wolfe

– Andrew Ferguson, Commentary, November 2012.
Excerpt: I was pulled up short the other day while reading an interview with Charles Portis, author of True Grit and other (equally splendid) novels. Portis worked as a reporter for the New… More

‘Things You Never Thought Possible’

– Review of Back to Blood. Nathaniel Rich, The New York Review of Books, November 22, 2012.
The writers of Tom Wolfe’s generation who discovered Miami before him—writers whose careers began in the era of the Cuban Revolution and the Bay of Pigs—described Miami as the nerve… More

Tom Wolfe’s Miami

– Peter Berkowitz, Policy Review, February/March 2013.
Excerpt: In 2012, both presidential candidates agreed that America is a divided nation. In private remarks to wealthy donors in May that were secretly taped and released to devastating… More

The Bizarre and Jejune

– George Neumayr, The American Spectator, January 2014.
Excerpt: 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… More

From ‘Acid’ to ‘Bonfire,’ an Archive That Sizzles

– Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, May 20, 2014.
Excerpt: In March 1988, when Tom Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” was parked at the top of the best-seller list, 962 Fifth Avenue was known to seemingly everyone as the gilded… More

Tom Wolfe Looks Over His Notes

The New Yorker, February 25, 2015.
“They’re calling it an archive,” Tom Wolfe points out. “It makes me feel very important.” Wolfe is standing next to an exhibit of his papers at the New York Public… More

A Woman in Full by Michael Anton

– Michael Anton, Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2015.
Excerpt: Wolfe tells unwelcome truths about race, multiculturalism, modern art, masculinity, and much else. At least these get noticed. His heterodox insights on women have been entirely… More

How Tom Wolfe Became Tom Wolfe

– Michael Lewis, Vanity Fair, November 2015.
Excerpt: The documents tell the story of the leading journalistic observer and describer of American life, in a time of radical cultural transformation, and of the sensational explosion in… More

Mizzou and the Master of Our Universe

– Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon, November 13, 2015.
Excerpt: The temptation to dismiss Wolfe as a mere gadfly or ironist or stylist has been around for a while. Resist it. He is not only a bestselling author but a thinker of originality and… More

Saved From The Bonfire: The Tom Wolfe Papers

– Oliver Wiseman, Standpoint, November 2015.
Excerpt: Sift through the Tom Wolfe papers and you get a picture of a writer who, from Sixties hippies to Eighties “masters of the universe”, has been a correspondent on the frontline… More

My Father, the Provocateur

– Alexandra Wolfe, "My Father, the Provocateur," Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2016.
Alexandra Wolfe writes: Yes, at some point in interviewing my father, I probably say “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaad!!!”—and he’d style it just that way if he were writing about our chat… More

We’re Only Human

– Andrew Ferguson, Commentary, October 2016.
Excerpt: The Kingdom of Speech is popular intellectual history of the most exhilarating kind. Its closest antecedents came along nearly 40 years ago, both of them also by Wolfe. The Painted… More

How Tom Wolfe Helped Create New Journalism

– David Browne, "How Tom Wolfe Helped Create New Journalism," Rolling Stone, June 8, 2017.
Excerpt: In the mid-1960s, the acid tests thrown by Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters were the white-hot center of the psychedelic revolution: dusk-to-dawn parties, usually in the Bay… More


Remarks by Tom Wolfe

– Remarks at the American Society for Newspaper Editors, C-SPAN, April 6, 1990.
Summary: In an often humorous address, Wolfe shares his observations on journalism and public affairs today. He is author of a recent best seller, Bonfire of the Vanities.

Crime and Morality in the 1990s

– C-SPAN, address to the Radio and Television News Directors Association, November 15, 1994.
Mr. Wolfe discussed crime and morality in the 1990s, focusing on the differences between this decade and the last.  – C-SPAN

Arts in New York

– C-SPAN, lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 19, 1995.
Mr. Wolfe spoke about the status of the arts in New York in the late 20th century. He emphasized that New York is a huge mecca for struggling, unknown artists of various kinds. He… More

End of the Century

– C-SPAN, lecture at Brown University, April 17, 1996.
Mr. Wolfe, who is working on his latest novel, The Mayflies, spoke about the intellectual environment in the United States since 1945. He emphasized that the two main influences on the… More

Tom Wolfe on Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose, November 19, 1996.
Summary: A conversation with novelist Tom Wolfe about his writings on the future of technology.

Marshall McLuhan Lecture

– C-SPAN, lecture at Fordham University, February 25, 1999.
Mr. Wolfe talked about Marshall McLuhan and his groundbreaking theories on mass media. – C-SPAN

Marshall McLuhan Lecture

– C-SPAN, lecture at Fordham University, February 25, 2009.
Summary: Mr. Wolfe talked about Marshall McLuhan and his groundbreaking theories on mass media. He also responded to questions from members of the audience. This was the first annual… More

The New Urban Paradigm

– C-SPAN, keynote address at Manhattan Institute conference on urban reform, June 21, 1999.

Journalism and the Modern Novel

– C-SPAN, lecture at Yale University, April 21, 2001.
At Yale University’s Tercentenary Celebration, author Tom Wolfe discussed the notions of journalism and the modern novel. Mr. Wolfe talked about his years in graduate school and his… More

Tom Wolfe on America’s Cities

– C-SPAN, lecture at Brown University, April 14, 2002.
“Mr. Wolfe discussed the spirit and strength of America’s cities, particularly New York City in the aftermath of September 11. Among the issues he addressed were the role of… More

In Depth with Tom Wolfe

– C-SPAN, BookTV, December 5, 2004.
Summary: Tom Wolfe talked about his life and career as an author of both fiction and nonfiction. He responded to audience telephone calls, faxes, and electronic mail. Two video clips… More

Washington & Lee University Commencement Address

– C-SPAN, Washington & Lee University, June 2, 2005.
“Tom Wolfe gave the commencement address to the graduates of Washington and Lee University, his alma mater. He talked about facing the challenges of the future, society and popular… More

What’s Southern Today?

– C-SPAN, North Carolina Festival of the Book, April 29, 2006.
“Tom Wolfe presented a lecture titled, ‘What’s Southern Today?’ He argued that Southern Americans have a much more common-sense approach to life than other… More

Tom Wolfe on the Colbert Report

The Colbert Report, April 26, 2007.
Summary: Stephen disagrees with new journalism because he believes people want entertaining journalism, not factual journalism. (5:48)

Tom Wolfe on Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg

PBS, December 27, 2007 (transcript).
WATTENBERG: Hello, I’m Ben Wattenberg. Our guest today is the distinguished American author and journalist, Tom Wolfe. NARRATOR: For over 40 years, Tom Wolfe has challenged the way… More

TIME Interviews Tom Wolfe

Time, YouTube, September 5, 2008.
Summary: Tom Wolfe has been upending the literary world with societal critiques and wild punctuation for almost half a century.

The Word According to Tom Wolfe

– Hoover Institution, YouTube, September 25, 2008.
Summary: Peter Robinson engages Americas master novelist in a conversation that ranges from the death of the American novel to the charming aristocracy that seeks to dictate literary… More

2010 National Book Awards

– C-SPAN, November 17, 2010.
Speech given by Wolfe upon receiving the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters given by the National Book Foundation.

Tom Wolfe on Modern Art

– Washington & Lee University, YouTube, October 11, 2011.
Washington and Lee University alumnus Tom Wolfe presented a lecture on Modern Art during the 60th reunion of his class, the Class of 1951, held on the campus in September 2011.

Tom Wolfe on Reporting Everything

Daily Beast, YouTube, January 4, 2013.
Tom Wolfe remembers what bothered him most in his writing on a gang bang from “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.”

Tom Wolfe, Dinner Keynote, NAS 2013 Conference

– National Association of Scholars, YouTube, May 2, 2013.
Tom Wolfe, author, presents the Dinner Keynote Address at the 2013 NAS Conference. May 2, 2013, Harvard Club, New York City.

Tom Wolfe on Uncommon Knowledge

– Hoover Institution, YouTube, July 23, 2013.
Summary: This week on Uncommon Knowledge author Tom Wolfe discusses the ideas and inspirations for Back to Blood, a story of decadence and the new America. In the book , Wolfe paints a… More

Tom Wolfe Gets Back to Blood

– Documentary, 2012.
Summary: Tom Wolfe, legendary author and satirist, spent five years researching his novel, Back to Blood, in Miami. This film follows him through the best and worst of Miami, a sultry,… More