Generation of Vipers

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Generation of Vipers is a 1943 book by Philip Wylie. In it Wylie criticizes various aspects and beliefs of contemporary American society, including Christianity; prominent figures such as politicians, teachers, and doctors;[1] and "momism" or the adoration of mothers. As of 2005 Dalkey Archive Press publishes the book.[2]


Wylie wrote the book in Miami Beach, Florida beginning on May 12, 1942 and ending on July 4, 1942; he felt disillusioned after having a job with the U.S. government providing information about World War II. The book was published in January 1943.[2]

By 1955 the book had twenty printings; by then a new edition of the book came out.[3]


Mike Wallace stated in his 1957 interview of Wylie that many viewers had criticized Wylie's conclusions about mothers, and Wylie responded by stating that he was only talking about a certain type of mother.[1]

In 2005 Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post argued that the book had not aged well in his second reading; he had first read the book in the 1960s.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Philip Wylie 5/12/57." The Mike Wallace Interview, posted at the website of University of Texas Harry Ransom Center. Retrieved on October 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Yardley, Jonathan (2005-07-30). "'Generation of Vipers' Loses Its Bite". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  3. ^ "Philip Wylie, "Common Women," from Generation of Vipers (1942, 1955)." Posted at the City University of New York. Retrieved on October 18, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bowman, James. "Not the greatest generation." (Reconsiderations)("Generation of Vipers" by Philip Wylie )(Critical essay) New Criterion, March, 2013, Vol.31(7), p. 27(4)
  • Rogers, Michael. "Wylie, Philip. Generation of Vipers." (Brief article)(Book review) Library Journal, Sept 15, 2007, Vol.132(15), p. 100(1)
  • Rogers, Michael. "Generation of Vipers". Library Journal. December 1996, Vol.121(20), p. 154.
  • Plant, Rebecca, with Ross, Dorothy (advisor). "The repeal of mother love: Momism and the reconstruction of motherhood in Philip Wylie's America." PhD thesis, 2002.
  • "Generation of Vipers" (Book Review). Science Fiction Studies, July, 1995, Vol.22, p. 234.
  • Seed, David. "The Postwar Jeremiads of Philip Wylie." Science Fiction Studies, 1 July 1995, Vol.22(2), pp. 234–251

External links[edit]