Cover image for Quest for the best
Quest for the best
Marcus, Stanley, 1905-2002.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Denton, Tex.: University of North Texas Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
ix, 227 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Viking Press, 1979.

Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF3023.M37 A36 1979 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Who better to know what is "the best" than the man who made Neiman Marcus synonymous with excellence for more than fifty years? The sequel to Minding the Store , Quest for the Best outlines Marcus's philosophy of what constitutes the best in goods and services and how to receive it. Marcus describes how increased labor costs and the disappearance of family-owned businesses into the pockets of corporate giants have led to an institutionalized indifference to quality. "I have observed," he writes, "that when you talk with an independent fine-quality maker, he speaks with pride about his product; when you talk with the chairman of a large corporation, he refers with pride to its net profit and balance sheet."

Quest for the Best is not just a nostalgic look, however, at the age of handcrafted elegance. Marcus gives good advice on how consumers can educate themselves about the best, demand it, and get it. He describes his own experiences with the best in chapters such as "The Things You Love to Touch," and "Bed and Board." Witty, urbane, but always accessible, Marcus is a joy to read.

This paperback edition features a new Preface and updated "Best Things List" that readers will want to copy and carry with them.

Originally published in 1979, Quest for the Best is more timely now than ever.

Author Notes

Stanley Marcus, the oldest son of one of the three founders of Neiman Marcus, attended Harvard University and Harvard Business School.

He wrote a biography entitled Minding the Store and a regular weekly column in the Dallas Morning News.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

An Appreciationp. vi
Preface to North Texas Editionp. vii
1 The Death of Elegancep. 1
2 Good, Better, Bestp. 21
3 Service Goes Down the Drainp. 39
4 Tastep. 55
5 Search for the Best: The Things You Love to Touchp. 75
6 Search for the Best: Bed and Boardp. 93
7 Search for the Best: Taste and Smellp. 107
8 The Seduction of the Buyerp. 129
9 The Building and Preservation of a Mystiquep. 145
10 Putting the Catalogue to Bedp. 165
11 Traveling Abroadp. 177
12 The Collector's Eyep. 187
13 The Future for Fine Qualityp. 203
Epilogue: Stanley Marcus's New Best Things Listp. 219
Indexp. 223