D. J. Taylor -->reviewed by Ben Downing -->

Who were they, the Bright Young People? Nobody, it turns out. To be sure, there were large talents and personalities among them, and each had flair of one kind or another. As a group, however, they present an image of unredeemed triviality. Less than the sum of their parts, they brought out the worst in each other, or at least the most superficial. They left behind few significant monuments and exerted little lasting influence. So why do they continue to fascinate? Why does their name still have about it a certain legendary ring? D. J. Taylor’s impressive yet numbing study simultaneously accounts for the lingering magic and kills it once and for all; while Taylor comes neither to praise nor to bury the Bright Young People, his...


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