SAT Subject US History Practice Question 459: Answer and Explanation
80. Which of the following novelists wrote mainly about the social class whose lifestyle Thorstein Veblen described in 1899 as the embodiment of "conspicu ous consumption"?
A. Mark Twain
B. J. D. Salinger
C. Edith Wharton
D. Jack London
E. Ernest Hemingway
Correct Answer: C
Thorstein Veblen was referring to the idle, wealthy class at the top of the social pyramid. Edith Wharton, born into that social class, wrote about it in novels such as The House of Mirthand The Age of Innocence.