There may come a time when the “great awokening” subsides, one when the social justice warriors are driven out of the cultural elite. In such a case, later generations may want to understand the world before “woke,” just as scholars today sift through the literary remains of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to see what life in the ancient world was really like. The novels of Louis Auchincloss may show us what American life—or at least an important elite slice of it—was like and chronicle America’s golden age as it turned to dross. As Auchincloss wrote:

The real and formidable influence of society was, fittingly, social. Those inside society’s ranks controlled the private schools, the clubs, the country clubs, the subscription dances for the young, the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches, as well as the larger banks and law firms....

 

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