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The Big Time

Laurence Shames’ debut book, examining the fabled HBS class of 1949–“the class the dollars fell on”–was named one of Newsweek’s 10 Best in 1986, and remains a seminal study of American privilege and power. With elite schools and corporate boardrooms as its starting point, the volume offers a compelling social history of a confident nation at the height of its swagger.

“In Mr. Shames’ hands” wrote The New York Times, “the ’49ers are Don Quixotes, idiosyncratic, refreshingly straightforward and correctly out of place in today’s world. They could not have found a more favorable class historian.”

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