The concept of “new” and “old” money is hard for the average modern reader to understand. In most parts of the country, the term “nouveau riche” isn’t often used, and with the onslaught of new Internet millionaires and billionaires in the last decade, the judgment is certainly no longer there. Today’s America values the self-made man or woman, the “rags to riches” story. A person who makes her own fortune is smart and innovative, an entrepreneur. She’s someone to be admired.
However, this wasn’t always the case. There was a time when building one’s own fortune was considered crude, and only the kind of wealth that came to this country on the Mayflower was valued. In the 1920’s, the East Coast, particularly New England and New York, was a land of haves, have-nots, and have-had-since-long-before-the-haves. This is the setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby.
In Gatsby’s … Read More