Bryan Caplan  

More Gems from The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Fool's Gold... Not From the Onion...
On health economics:
Florence Rath died only eight days later, complaining not so much of a broken thigh and a fractured pelvis as of the refusal of the doctors to obey her.

"They know they can't cure me, so why don't they send me home?" she asked Tom every day, and he was never able to invent a plausible answer.
On when life's worth living:
"If you are pregnant," he had said, "will you have the child?"

"God willing," she had replied, and he had been glad, absurdly glad that in flying to meet his evil, grinning little man with the bayonet, he was leaving a child behind, even if it were a child with no father to care for it; a ragamuffin child dancing in the street for pennies, perhaps, but at least a child, which was better than to die and leave nothing, as though he had never been born.
On success and (self-?) deception:
To his surprise, Betsy looked hurt.  "I wish you'd stop being so damn bright and cynical," she said.  "It's no way to start a new job.  You ought to be enthusiastic.  Damn it, Tommy, try to be naive!"

"What's got into you?" he asked, looking puzzled.

"I'll bet Hopkins doesn't go around making wisecracks!" she said.  "Does he?"


"Nobody does who gets anywhere.  You've got to be positive and enthusiastic!"

"How come you know so much all of the sudden about how to get ahead?"

"I just know," she said.  "I'm sick of being smart and broke."
I can't remember the last time I so enjoyed a novel by someone I'd never heard of before.  Try it.

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Twitter: Bryan Caplan @bryan_caplan

COMMENTS (6 to date)
John Thacker writes:

It's a classic and well-written book. I think people confuse it as a polemic against capitalism, and the efforts of anti-capitalist reviews didn't help.

ardyan writes:

"...which was better than to die and leave nothing..."

Surely this is double-speak?

El Presidente writes:


I'll give it this: it's funny.

"I wish you'd stop being so damn bright and cynical," she said. "It's no way to start a new job. You ought to be enthusiastic. Damn it, Tommy, try to be naive!"

I would like to rescind all of my prior comments. I now see the error of my ways. Ignorance is bliss, and denial is its faithful companion. :)

El Presidente writes:

I'm so sorry, BRYAN. I'm still on my first cup of coffee.

Patrick R. Sullivan writes:

Bryan, the best thing Sloan Wilson wrote was his autobiography,
What Shall We Wear to This Party?: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Twenty Years Before & After

Spring for the $ .25.

John Fembup writes:

I always thought that the most important noun in the title was "the man" - not "the gray flannel suit". And Gregory Peck did nothing to persuade me otherwise.

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