Act 2 is the second chapter of "A Privileged Past."


Act 2 of "A Privileged Past" explores the history of one family – the author’s family of origin – from its inception in 1938 until its dissolution in 2002. Tracing the Allens in Silver Spring, Maryland – a wealthy suburb of Washington, DC – this chapter highlights the family’s steady relative decline in socio-economic status in the wake of the New Deal that, at least until 1980, promoted the development of a middle class much more modest than what the Allens represented. The dominant metaphor in this account is that of taste and the shared rituals of families and friends eating together.