Joseph Epstein (born January 9, 1937) is a Chicagoan essayist, short story writer, and editor, best known as a former editor of the Phi Beta Kappa Society's The American Scholar magazine and for his recent essay collection, Snobbery: The American Version. He was also a lecturer at Northwestern University from 1974 - 2002. He is a Contributing Editor at The Weekly Standard and a long-time contributor of essays and short stories to The New Criterion and Commentary. The late William F. Buckley, Jr. in his review of Snobbery called Epstein the wittiest writer alive. is the 9th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location Location in Chicagoland and northern Illinois Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Illinois Cook, DuPage Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Geographical characteristics Area City 606. ... The Phi Beta Kappa Society is an academic honor society with the mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. ... The American Scholar is the literary quarterly of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, founded in 1932. ... Northwestern University (NU) is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational research university with campuses located in Evanston, Illinois and downtown Chicago. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... The Weekly Standard is an American neoconservative  magazine published 48 times per year. ... The New Criterion is a New York-based magazine, a journal of art and cultural criticism. ... There are several senses for Commentary: Informed criticism. ... This article is about the conservative journalist and commentator. ...
JosephEpstein manages to keep aloft two distinct genres, the nonfiction of Snobbery and the fiction of his new collection of stories, Fabulous Small Jews.
Epstein is also slight, with a bookish air about him that is offset comically by his patented bow tie.
Said one woman in a letter to the Times, "Thank goodness that JosephEpstein is not my 9-year-old daughter's teacher, discouraging her creativity and dashing her hopes that she can write a story that others might want to read." Alas, Epstein has always been something of a literary rascal.
Not long ago, JosephEpstein made a brief splash with a book called Snobbery: The American Version, which appealed to the branch of the reading public that also went crazy for breezy, self-aware nonfiction like Bobos in Paradise and whatever tongue-in-cheek rich white guy NPR is talking about now.
Before Snobbery, Epstein was chiefly famous for his twenty-two-year stint as editor of The American Scholar -- and an unfortunate 1970 Harper's article that struck many as homophobic (perhaps due to his stated desire to "wish homosexuality off the face of this earth").
In his over thirty years of journalism and fiction, Epstein has come to occupy the role of "cultural critic," a job as ill-defined as it is, let's face it, unnecessary.
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