Tom Wolfe was the master of the neo journalism universe. The prolific author died on Monday at the age of 88. Wolfe had an uncanny knack for capturing American pop culture trends and bringing them to life through his masterful writings threaded with his personal perceptions.
It has been 50 years since his now notorious nonfiction book: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) which chronicled the hippie counter-culture of psychedelic life and the exploits of writer Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters. At the time, this work set the tone for a new form of nonfiction journalism. When I was in college, Wolfe’s book was required reading for a course on Pop Culture in America. Several decades later, I hope this book finds its way into the hands of the younger generations as its symbolism mirrors that of today’s Silicone Valley mindset.
In the 80s, Wolfe ventured into his first fictional novel Bonfire of the Vanities, capturing 1980s New York City Wall Street culture about ambition, racism, social class, politics, and greed. Specifically, the men of NYC’s investment banking world — who he dubbed ‘Masters of the Universe’ – practically predicting their and their industry’s eventual downfall.
His novel The Right Stuff once again captured the mood of a nation during the great space race, bringing the story of the lives of the Mercury astronauts, their families and the Nassau space program to the forefront.
Tom Wolfe, the personality, the author and the man garbed in white suits – has most definitely Socially Sparked® our lives. A true Master of the Neo Journalism Universe, Tom Wolfe’s writings, coined phrases as ‘Masters of the Universe’ and the ‘Me Decade’, will touch our hearts and minds forever. RIP. – Abbe is Socially Sparked! Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01.