Snobs: A Guidebook to Your Friends, Your Enemies, Your Colleagues, and Yourself
Type of Work
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.