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Tom Wolfe

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Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe (1931–2018) is the author of a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, and I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Tom Wolfe

From tripping on LSD in the ’60s to the politics and greed of ’80s New York City, American writer Tom Wolfe has always searched for the heart and soul of American society in the unlikeliest places. Often considered the founder of the New Journalism movement, Wolfe began his career as a newspaper reporter, quickly finding success writing for publications like Esquire and Rolling Stone before beginning to develop his own novels and short stories.

As a child, Wolfe was a star baseball player and edited his school newspaper, setting the scene for a life of literary ambition. After completing a doctoral program at Yale University in American Studies, he soon began reporting for The Washington Post, and later took a position with the New York Herald Tribune, where editors like Clay Felker of the Sunday New York Magazine encouraged writers to break writing conventions. It was there that he began to let his imagination run wild, fusing scene-by-scene narrative, colorful dialogue, multiple viewpoints, and even onomatopoeia with the traditional ideal of dispassionate, even-handed reporting. His first foray into fiction after years as a journalist was the novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, which was a critical and commercial success, drawing comparisons to writers Hunter S. Thompson and Norman Mailer. While stories from his early reporting days are collected in The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, his unique account of the adventures of the Merry Pranksters, a ’60s counterculture group, comes to roaring, acid-partying, full-blaring life in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

TASCHEN Books does full justice to Wolfe’s wild journey in this re-presentation of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test as a glorious Collector’s Edition, featuring letterpress printing and contributions from photographer Lawrence Schiller, among others. This edition combines passages of Wolfe’s writing with ephemera ranging from jailhouse journals to underground magazines to construct a never-before-seen sensory experience of the dayglow decades and hippie era.