46 / CHRONICLESnartists into self-indulgent and temperamentalnstars before they’ve masteredntheir craft.” Editors, Gingrich complained,nwere “kowtowing to punks”nbecause they were “afraid to give themnthe spanking they deserve, becausenthey can sense the presence of otherneditors just waiting … to grab thenspoiled brats and woo them away withnmore and larger lollipops.”nBut fashion promoters can’t afford tonbuck trends: Gingrich eventuallynhanded the reins over to HaroldnHayes, Don Erickson, Robert Benton,nand the rest of “the kids.” Gingrichnspent his last years (he died in 1976)nreminiscing on the old days and philosophizingnabout compromises he’dnmade with the new era: “He whonwould keep a shop must have a smilingnface . . . and when you’re getting outna magazine you are in effect just anothernkind of shopkeeper, and if younwant to go on being right because younthink your customers are wrong younwill sooner or later do so at your peril.”nNo haberdasher—not even HarrynTruman—could have said it better.nSince the 60’s, Esquire has defined,nnot defied, cultural orthodoxy innAmerica. Mention in Esquire’sn”Washington Briefing” carries realnweight. (What other magazine can getnsenators to pose as fashion models?)nAnd inclusion in Esquire’s annualnRegister edihon is just one step short ofncanonization for political organizers,nartists, writers, or clothing designers.nEsquire has largely regained its positionnas “America’s most talked-aboutnmagazine.”nLittle mystery surrounds Esquire’snrenewed prominence. Eor once then60’s had done their worst, the devoteesnof the New Sentimentality sharednnothing except an obsession with stylishnleisure, private consumption, andnfashion—Esquire’s specialties sincenthe beginning. By the early 70’s,narticles on men’s fashion, on Erenchncuffs, double-breasted wool suits, orntrench coats no longer needed camouflagenor apology. Harold Hayes observednthat Esquire had crossed itsn”traditional boundaries” during then60’s and entered onto “the more forbiddingnground of politics, sociology,nscience, and even, occasionally, religion.”nBut a more credible analysisnwould see the movement going thenother direction: that is, politics, socialnmores, and even religion lost theirndeeper roots and simply became newnmodes of fashion, with no firmer philosophicalnor epistemological rootsnthan designer shirts and jeans.nReaders of Esquire can still findnwhat passes for our best fiction as wellnas articles on serious subjects by celebritynjournalists. Yet it is hard not tonsuspect that Esquire editors and mostnreaders regard all this “literature” asnnothing more than the necessary accessoriesnto go with a good suit—nsomething like an ascot or a goodncologne. Etheridge set the tone in ThenMan of Mode: “A gentieman shouldnnever go beyond a song or a billet.” Tonget a real whiff of how Esquire viewsnbooks, take a look at last summer’snissue on new fiction. The cover showsna girl in a bikini on top of a stack ofnbooks. (Do girls still fall for guys whonsay thev’re writers? We hope so.)nThe honeymoon between sex andnwriting does not last long. In an issuenlast fall, Jerry Adler, a senior writernwith Newsweek, explains that he valuednhis first child as a “philosophicnstatement,” but now that his wifenwants a second, the whole thing was anHome EconomicsnGary S. Becker’s groundbreaking AnTreatise on the Family has beennreissued in paperback (Cambridge,nMA: Harvard University Press). Fullnof bewildering charts, formulas,nand the stock paraphernalia of voodooneconomics (a tautological expression,nif ever there was one),nBecker’s prose text has enough boldninsights and startling conclusions tonwarrant the effort.nAn economic analysis of familynrelations has several advantages.nProblems can be posed simply, resultsnare quantifiable. Such a methodnalso manages to bypass or bracketnthe ethical questions whichnusually impede serious investigation.nBecker argues, for example,nthat under some circumstancesnwomen might prefer polygynousnmarriage, if it gives them access tongreater resources. Polygyny maynnnREVISIONSnbother. “I am worried,” he confesses,n”about what another child will costnboth in terms of income and outgo.”n{Newsweek and Esquire are apparentlyncontent to pay him to write sentencesnlike this.) No wonder that Esquire’snbook on physical fitness — one ofnmany Esquire leisure titles, coveringnwine-tasting, gambling, golfing, andnfashion—bears the revealing subtitlenHow the Successful Male Can AvoidnGoing to Seed. Athletic sterility is nownde rigueur.nWe are, after all, a nation of mennwho would rather be dandies thanndaddies. Some of us are less thanndelighted with the prospect of an entirengeneration of touts, pimps, and malenmodels putting on the airs of Sir EoplingnElutter, but the editors of Esquirenmust be delighted. Their “pretty girl”nhas once again stepped out in front ofnthe chorus line of national journalismninto center stage. She commands thenspotlight, and she knows her routinenperfectly. But then, as William Jamesncould have told us, no one has dancednburlesque longer or more artfully thann”the bitch goddess success.”nalso increase the status of women innsociety, because it heightens thencompetition for wives.nWith all these solid merits to itsncredit, Becker’s book does contributento the dangerous modern fallacynwhich regards society as an artificialnconstruct made up of individuals.nEor analytical purposes—whetherneconomic or biological — it isnsometimes necessary to pretend thatnthe family is a set of contractualnrelationships. But even from a biologicalnperspective, the family is annorganic entity made up of peoplenclosely related genetically—eitherndirectly, as in the case of brothersnand sisters, parents and children, ornindirectly, as with husbands andnwives who have merged their identitiesnin the persons of their children.nStill, Becker’s Treatise remainsnthe single most importantnattempt to analyze the economiesnof family life.n