I routinely recommend this book to talented kids from other classes and other places who are trying to make it in the Northeast. Along with John Molloy's Dress for Success, this book made it possible for me to adapt to corporate life.
Lisa Birnbach and company, successfully documented the lives of the Prep School set, from youth to retirement. Along the way they explore in a brilliant and witty way, the mindset and lifestyle of this group. You learn immediately that being a Preppy is well beyond going to a private school. Preps exude Noblesse Oblige, while wearing Lacoste polos and drinking Bloody Mary's. You learn about their cars, colleges, clothes, food, jobs, music, pets, what they read and how they decorate their houses. You learn what "To Summer," REALLY means. You even learn their speech patterns, and prep vocabulary. Along the way you have a lot of laughs, while getting an education about what makes these people tick. Years later, I still pull out my pristine copy not only for laughs, but for reference as well. In recent years others have tried to follow this groundbreaking formula only to have missed the mark. You will find many books with: "In the traditon of The Preppy Handbook" in their titles. They do not even come close.
Sadly, this artifact is out of print. Perhaps someone will start a letter writing campaign to Workman Publishers, begging them to reprint it. It is REALLY that good!