William F. Buckley, Jr has reviewed Joseph Epstein's 2003 book Snobbery: The American Version, which for me is a double-dip of pleasure because, while I don't always agree with these two men, I admire and enjoy their writing.
Epstein's chapter on name dropping is especially amusing and gives me a chance to display my own snobbery by mentioning that I've had an exchange of e-mails with him about contemporary 'slanguage' prompted by a column he wrote for the Vocabula Review.
In this review Buckley writes eloquently about the chapter on good taste.
Good taste, he summarizes, is really “good sense.” Good sense in friendship, “represented by tact, generosity, and above all kindness; in possessions, by comfort, elegance, utility and solidity; in art by beauty, harmony, and originality, in culture, by a discriminating tolerance for tastes at odds with one’s own.”
“The other way—taking pleasure in cutting oneself away from the mass by the criterion of ostensible good taste, and putting down others by the standard of what one takes to be one’s own exquisite taste is, of course, the way of the snob.”