In Believer Magazine, The Official Guide to Official Handbooks: The Rich Legacy of Putting Others in Their Cultural Place:

Americans love to believe that with the right wardrobe and vocabulary, anyone can become anything. We also love the righteousness and special insight that come with being an outsider, from being turned away from the clubs that matter. People don’t make their mark by writing books about how swimmingly they fit in at boarding school, or about how their blue-blooded family isn’t stocked with alcoholic lunatics. The Official Preppy Handbook (1980), along with lesser followers like The Official Slacker Handbook (1994) and The Hipster Handbook (2002), capitalizes on our ambivalence about exclusivity.