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Matters of Honor by Louis Begley

Matters of Honor is narrated by Sam Standish, beginning with his entrance at Harvard in the 1950s. Sam comes from a disreputable side of a wealthy Massachusetts family and is eager to put distance between him and his adoptive parents. He shares a room with Archie, an army brat, and Henry White, a Jewish boy who survived World War II in Poland by hiding with his mother. Harvard was a place of station and privilege, and despite their best efforts, none of the boys fit in well. Henry, in particular, wanted to assimilate and win the heart of a high-society girl, but he can't escape his background. Sam becomes a novelist and Henry becomes a lawyer, and their family dramas and difficulties follow them into adulthood. Louis Begley's novel has received mixed reviews with saying, "Like all satisfying social novels, Matters of Honor allows the reader a deep look into the world it examines. We may not always like what we see, but we can't deny that what's been revealed has the solid feel of truth."
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Washington Post review by Ron Charles

New York Times review by Michiko Kakutani

Seattle Times review by Robin Updike review by Harvey Freedenberg

Louis Begley
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