'The Bonfire of the Vanities,' 25 Years Later

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Twenty-five years ago, in 1987, a novel called “The Bonfire of the Vanities” was published. Written by Tom Wolfe, the book centered on a greedy, white Wall Street trader who accidentally kills a black teenager in the Bronx, then deliberately flees the scene of the accident.

Touching on issues of class privilege, racism, greed, and politics, the book was a commercial and critical success, and came to define an era in New York City and in America.

A quarter century later, the BBC is looking back on “The Bonfire of the Vanities” with journalist and personal finance expert Alvin Hall. How much has changed in New York in the years since it was published, and how much is the same?


Alvin Hall

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [1]

Ed from Larchmont

A wonderful picture of New York City in the late 1980s, right down to the headlines. I wonder if the Wall Street value-less bonds traded a decade later, which harmed the economy so much, can be seen in the culture of 'Bonfire'?

Mar. 22 2012 06:14 AM

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