The Bonfire of the Vanities  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, the 1990 film The Bonfire of the Vanities (film)

The Bonfire of the Vanities is a 1987 novel by Tom Wolfe. The story is a drama about ambition, racism, class politics, and greed in 1980s New York City, and centers on four main characters: WASP bond trader Sherman McCoy, Jewish Assistant District Attorney Larry Kramer, British expatriate journalist Peter Fallow and black politician Rev. Bacon.

The novel was originally a serial in the style of Charles Dickens' writings; it ran in 27 installments in Rolling Stone magazine starting in 1984. Wolfe heavily revised it before it was published in book form. The novel was a bestseller and a phenomenal success, even in comparison with Wolfe's other books. The title is a reference to a historical event, the Bonfire of the Vanities, which took place in 1497, in Florence, Italy, when the city was under the rule of the Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola. The story told in the book and the movie is not a retelling of this historic event, it is a reference to the vanities of New York society of the 1980s.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Bonfire of the Vanities" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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