FeaturesFebruary 23, 2013 at 11:13 am

People Who Went To Penn: E. Digby Baltzell

e. digby baltzellWhat do you call those non-Jewish residents of the Main Line again? You know, with the yachts and the non-Kosher diets? Thanks to this guy on the right, E. Digby Baltzell (Class of 1940), we call ‘em WASPs.

Besides having an esoteric name and a bangin’ sense of style (can tweed make a comeback, please?), this St. A’s alum popularized the acronym with his 1964 book, The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America, written during his years as a sociology professor at Penn.

It seems Baltzell’s specialty was studying the social caste system in America. You know, how “old money” was still running everything in town. (Those gosh-darned Tom Buchanans get everything!) No word yet on if he ever realized he actually WAS one of the people he hated studied so much.

4 People have left comments on this post


By Ian Bussard on February 23, 2013 at 11:13 am

No Kendra, tweed canNOT make a comeback. Thx 4 trying, Baby Button.

By Eli on February 23, 2013 at 11:13 am

Ian don’t be jelly just cause you lack SWAG. Right on, kcars! Also, Gatsby reference=win.

By Kendra Carson on February 23, 2013 at 11:13 am

Aw but Ian, a girl can hope! Also thanks Eli!

By David on February 23, 2013 at 11:13 am

Damning with faint praise, I say. A class with Dr. Baltzell was like being taught by Edmund Burke- he had an inspiring moral compass, was an independent thinker, a gracious man and above all, a gentleman. He changed students’ lives. The tweed was cool but that was hardly the point.

Post a Comment