A Cautionary Tale for the New Roaring Twenties

THERE ARE FEW things more glamorous than the belief that we are living through the end of an era — and there are even fewer times in recent history when we haven’t believed it. It’s a conviction that allows us to ennoble ourselves with pathos, with rueful maturity, with wisdom won too late. To be certain that we’re at the beginning of something can mean feeling optimistic and openhearted about the future in a way that, especially these days, risks courting contempt. And to know that we’re in the middle of an era is — well, it’s not even a phrase, is it? It’s nothing much at all, simply

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