1955 1st year edition; Simon and Schuster publishers; hardbound in green/grey cloth boards with red decor on cover and green lettering on spine; good condition with unmarked pages; normal fox ageing of pages for 1955; no dust jacket.
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit is a 1955 novel by Sloan Wilson about the American search for purpose in a world dominated by business. The main characters, a middle-class young couple named Tom and Betsy Rath, share a struggle to find contentment in their hectic and material culture while several other characters fight essentially the same battle, but for different reasons. In the end, it is a story of taking responsibility for one's own life.
The novel was the basis for the 1956 film of the same name starring Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones as Tom and Betsy Rath.
Tom and Betsy Rath live in a rundown house in Westport, Connecticut in 1953. They have three children (two girls and a boy) and have money problems. Tom is 33 years old, a Harvard graduate, and works at a Manhattancharitable organization. He barely survived as an Army paratroop officer during World War II, having fought in both the European and Pacific combat theaters, during which he had an extramarital affair in Italy.
Tom has haunting flashbacks of the affair as well as his combat experiences. He killed 17 men in combat, including the accidental killing of his friend with a hand grenade in the heat of battle. His stay-at-home wife knows only that Tom is somehow "changed" since the war.
One day while reflecting on the inadequacy of his house, Tom runs into a friend who works at United Broadcasting Corporation, a New York-based television network. This friend encourages Tom to apply for a new opening in public relations.
Tom gets the job, working for Ralph Hopkins, the top man at the network, an empire-builder surrounded by politicking yes-men. Hopkins is to propose the establishment of national mental health services to a group of physicians and offer his own prestige and network toward that end. Tom must figure out how...