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JOSEPH EPSTEIN is the author of thirty-one books, among them books on divorce, ambition, snobbery, friendship, envy, and gossip. He has published seventeen collections of essays and four books of short stories. He has been the editor of theAmerican Scholar, the intellectual quarterly of Phi Beta Kappa, and for thirty years he taught in the English Department at Northwestern University. He has written for the New Yorker, Commentary, New Criterion, Times Literary Supplement, Claremont Review of Books, New York Review of Books, Poetry, and other magazines both in the United States and abroad.