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This is the story of Tom and Betsy Rath a young couple with three children a nice home a steady income They have every reason to be happy but for some reason they are not Universally acclaimed when it was first published in 1955 the novel captured the mood of a generation It was a sensational best seller that was made into an award winning film with Gregory Peck it was translated into twenty six languages and its title has become a permanent part of our vocabulary Today it is relevant than ever


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    Book Circle Reads 158Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says Here is the story of Tom and Betsy Rath a young couple with everthing going for them three healthy children a nice home a steady income They have every reason to be happy but for some reason they are not Like so many young men of the day Tom finds himself caught up in the corporate rat race what he encounters there propels him on a voyage of self discovery that will turn his world inside out At once a searing indictment of corporate culture a story of a young man confronting his past and future with honesty and a testament to the enduring power of family The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit is a deeply rewarding novel about the importance of taking responsibility for one's own lifeMy Review 1955 That is if you're math challenged 58 years ago and the year that Simon Schuster published this book So Wilson was writing it in it's safe to say 1953 60 years ago And this is what Wilson saidMoney I need money {Tom} thought If they don't build a new public shcool I should be able to afford a private school I should get everything but money out of my head and really do a job for Hopkins I ought to be at work nowMoney Tom thought The housing project could make money but it depends on re zoning and Bernstein says we shouldn't ask for that until they vote on a new schoolA new school he thought so much depends on that I should work for a new school and I should work harder for Hopkins and I should be making plans for our housing project Where did I ever get the idea that life is supposed to be anything but work? A man's work should be his pleasure I shouldn't expect anything Tom Rath has just been to see the overcrowded public school his daughters have to attend because unlike his own father he can't afford to put them in a private school He muses on these thoughts while waiting for a late commuter train into the city where he will take on a lowly personal assistant's position and in the process displace a number of female employees from their physical spaceSixty years since Wilson was penning these words and not that much has changed Now of course it could easily be a mom having these platform reveries because we've been sold the bill of goods that nannies and au pairs are plenty good enough to raise the kids we've had but don't feel like raising even if it means NOT having a home theater six DVR equipped TVs and each kid with an unshared Xbox If mom's better at business dad YOU stay home and raise those people you engendered Read to them make them a snack after carpool help with their homework Hiring out parenthood sorta makes it pointless doesn't it?AhemMe and my rantsWilson's book analyzes the sources of Tom's inner discontent as disconnection and materialism I agree The alarm bell sounded by this and by the 1956 movie went unheeded despite the fact that both were hugely popular and successful in their own spheres The movie was as good as the book for onceAt every turn MONEY the getting and spending of obsesses and defines Tom His wealthy grandmother is being cared for by a greedy granny nanny and the hijinks appertaining thereto are most instructive for today's audience Tom's boss the venal and piggish Hopkins plays out before Tom's increasingly revolted gaze his own probable future of alienated kid extra probable because his three are TV obsessed brats estranged wife and grasping mistresses Then things get complicated when a wartime indiscretion with an Italian lass provides a surprise to Tom's unsuspecting wifeWilson wrote of his own time Change the props update the clothes and make it about Betsy the wife and nothing much has changedI'm sad about that So much needless hurt caused in this world from sheer wasteful greed for MORE when there's than enough right in front of these hungry souled people This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License