Posted BY: Stephen B. Young

Adam Entous in The New Yorker of August 15, 2022, wrote with dispassionate detail the travails of four generations of Bidens — President Biden’s grandfather and father, Joe himself, his brother Jim, and his son Hunter. Most of the article provides information on the President’s father, Joe Sr., and his grandfather, Joseph Harry.

The family’s relentless pursuit of money to bring them superior social status would make a great F. Scott Fitzgerald novel or perhaps a play by Arthur Miller like his Death of a Salesman. The stresses and strains of that quest betray the desperation of Captain Ahab and his need to kill the White Whale at all costs.

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But the story is, at heart, an American Irish one. It is the social climbing ambition of “shanty” Irish immigrants to become “lace curtain” Irish living in style like the Protestant Ascendency in Ireland or their WASP cousins in the United States.

It is the story of Joseph P. Kennedy. It has its counterpart in the ambition of some White trailer trash southerners to become gentry and live in a “Big” house. Think of Slick Willy Clinton.

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