The Wall Street Journal reviews Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Wealth Culture:

“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” was one of the quintessential cultural artifacts of the Reagan era: an oily TV celebration of money and fame that nevertheless seemed almost welcome after the malaise of the Carter years. Larry Samuel’s “Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Wealth Culture” is “Lifestyles” served between hard-covers and updated for the Obama era. Mr. Samuel studiously avoids most of the questions about wealthy Americans that fascinate professional historians. He says nothing about why the U.S. has been so successful at producing entrepreneurs, and little about how the rich protect their investments or educate their children. (The great battles over admission to Princeton’s dining clubs do not even merit a mention.) He focuses instead on what many would regard as ­frippery—the number of courses people stuffed into themselves at banquets or the number of times they changed clothes in the average day. – from WSJ