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Joseph Epstein may be the dean of contemporary essayists. In some 22 books -- none of them featuring car chases or bedroom scenes -- he has philosophized on subjects as diverse as divorce, Fred Astaire, gossip and "Fabulous Small Jews."
Some autobiographies manage to have just the right title, and this is one of them. It is not surprising that as the only child of two titanic figures, born late in life after they had all but given up hope of ever having children, John Julius Cooper (Viscount Norwich is the title he inherited from his father) seems from his very cradle to have cultivated trying to please.