The Golden Hammer’s most embarrassing oversight: there was no tribute to author Tom Wolfe when he died on May 14

Author Tom Wolfe spoke at the White House in 2004 after he had publicly explained that he voted for George W. Bush for President.

New York, May 27 – On May 14, 2018, one of the greatest American writers of the last hundred years, Tom Wolfe, died at the age of 78.

When The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, began on January 14, 2017, an interview with the Publisher included the following question and answer:

GH STAFF: What is your opinion of Tom Wolfe?

Yollick: While I don’t like Tom Wolfe’s politics, his writing is magnificent. Each of his books capture the time period when he has written them. He usually writes about one book each decade. The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities are both hilarious and entertaining. One of Wolfe’s early essays, entitled “Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers,” is an important work that anyone interested in modern government should read. Our Montgomery County Commissioners should read that essay, so that they understand their methods of putting off constituents are old and failed.

GH STAFF: What is your opinion of Tom Wolfe?

Yollick: While I don’t like Tom Wolfe’s politics, his writing is magnificent. Each of his books capture the time period when he has written them. He usually writes about one book each decade. The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities are both hilarious and entertaining. One of Wolfe’s early essays, entitled “Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers,” is an important work that anyone interested in modern government should read. Our Montgomery County Commissioners should read that essay, so that they understand their methods of putting off constituents are old and failed.

Wolfe was born on March 2, 1930, in Richmond, Virginia. He turned down admission to Princeton University to attend Washington and Lee University in Williamsburg, Virginia, instead. Wolfe received a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University.

After his studies, Wolfe became a reporter for The Washington Post and then the New York Daily News. His journalistic style was controversial almost from the beginning of his career, because he mixed a literary style with his reporting, a technique that many editors referred to as “the New Journalism.” Hunter Thompson, Truman Capote, and Norman Mailer are other well-known writers who used a similar journalistic style.

Wolfe published several collections of his essays. His two most successful books were The Right Stuff about the Mercury 7 astronauts which later become a popular movie by the same name and Bonfire of the Vanities, a fiction novel about New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which also became a successful movie.

Wolfe took enormous care with his writing. Each of his books took him approximately eight to ten years to write. Therefore, he wrote books that tended to capture American culture approximately once every decade.

Wolfe’s greatest essay was a short one entitled “Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers” about citizen interaction with government bureaucrats. Any citizen, who considers making a citizen comment to the Montgomery County Commissioners Court or any other institution that is a hotbed of government waste and corruption, should read how to mau-mau properly.

Wolfe, as a person, was a great character. His writing, however, is simply amazing. Anyone who seeks an understanding of American civilization should include Wolfe’s books on a study list. Almost all of his book are a blast to read, while, of course, The Right Stuff was a blast both literally and figuratively.

 

 

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