Snobs: A Guidebook to Your Friends, Your Enemies, Your Colleagues, and Yourself

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Printed in 1950, Snobs: A Guidebook to Your Friends, Your Enemies, Your Colleagues, and Yourself is a short satirical guide to the many different types of snobs and how to spot them. On the back of the yellow dust jacket, Russell Lynes encourages the reader to fill out a checklist to determine the type or types of snob the reader truly is—and use it on their friends. The checklist includes eight categories of snobbery, with specific kinds of snobs within each category. For example, within the taste snob category, one could be an art snob, a literary or music snob, or a clothes or movie snob. Robert Osborn’s simple line illustrations are playful caricatures personifying each type of snob. A key feature of each caricature is the large, upturned nose signifying the pretense of a higher class. In addition, each illustration is paired with a cheeky one-liner describing the snob. For example, “The Physical Prowess Snob is likely to die of a cardiac condition in his mid-forties.” Russell Lynes was managing editor of Harper’s Magazine for twenty years between 1947 and 1967. He was renowned as an arbiter of good taste and good design and wrote a book titled Highbrow, Middlebrow, Lowbrow. During WWII, Robert Osborn served in a special information unit in the Navy under Edward Steichen, producing pilot training manuals.

Yellow cover image of Snobs illustrated by Robert Osborn. The Illustration on the cover depicts the Tolerance Snob
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Yellow cover image of Snobs illustrated by Robert Osborn. The Illustration on the cover depicts the Tolerance Snob

Robert Osborn Navy pilot training graphic. Blue planes collide inside of a cloud. The caption reads, “Dilbert Learned that during training you stay out of clouds.”
Source: www.history.navy.mil Library of Congress

Robert Osborn Navy pilot training graphic. Blue planes collide inside of a cloud. The caption reads, “Dilbert Learned that during training you stay out of clouds.”

Illustration of The Social Snob. "The Social Snob has gone underground (except for professionals such as headwaiters and roomclerks).
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of The Social Snob. "The Social Snob has gone underground (except for professionals such as headwaiters and roomclerks).

Illustration of the Regional Snob. “The Regional Snob can come from anywhere.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Regional Snob. “The Regional Snob can come from anywhere.”

Illustration of the Cultural Capital Snob. “The Cultural Capital Snob will bend all the way over backward”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Cultural Capital Snob. “The Cultural Capital Snob will bend all the way over backward”

Illustration of the Tolerance Snob. “The Tolerance Snob has a special predilection for getting his name printed on letterheads.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Tolerance Snob. “The Tolerance Snob has a special predilection for getting his name printed on letterheads.”

Illustration of the Sensual Snob. “The Sensual Snob takes special pride in being able to wrest more pleasure per cell from the flesh than anyone else.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Sensual Snob. “The Sensual Snob takes special pride in being able to wrest more pleasure per cell from the flesh than anyone else.”

Illustration of the Physical Prowess Snob." The Physical Prowess Snob is likely to die of a cardiac condition in his mid-forties."
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Physical Prowess Snob." The Physical Prowess Snob is likely to die of a cardiac condition in his mid-forties."

Illustration of the Emotional Snobs. “The Emotional Snobs, or I feel things more than anybody variety.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Emotional Snobs. “The Emotional Snobs, or I feel things more than anybody variety.”

Illustration of the Freudian Snob. “The Freudian, or I have more inhibitions than anyone Snob.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Freudian Snob. “The Freudian, or I have more inhibitions than anyone Snob.”

Illustration of the Intellectual Snob. “The Intellectual Snob is so well established as to need no discussion in this brief survey.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Intellectual Snob. “The Intellectual Snob is so well established as to need no discussion in this brief survey.”

Illustration of the Car Snob. “The Car Snob's concern is with old or foreign cars.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Car Snob. “The Car Snob's concern is with old or foreign cars.”

Illustration of the Male Clothes Snob. “The Male Clothes Snob cares most of all about being conspicuously inconspicuous.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Male Clothes Snob. “The Male Clothes Snob cares most of all about being conspicuously inconspicuous.”

Illustration of the Realistic Political Snob and Idealistic Political Snob. “The Realistic Political Snob is extremely impatient with the Idealistic Political Snob and vice versa.”
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

Illustration of the Realistic Political Snob and Idealistic Political Snob. “The Realistic Political Snob is extremely impatient with the Idealistic Political Snob and vice versa.”

The checklist found on the back cover.
Source: Marissa Giblin Marissa Giblin

The checklist found on the back cover.