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Mrs. Astor's New York 9780300095012

Mrs. Astor's New York

Money and Social Power in a Gilded Age

ISBN-10: 0300095015
ISBN-13: 9780300095012
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: Yale University Press
Also available at Amazon.com
Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: "Mrs. Astor, undisputed queen of New York society in the decades before the First World War, used her prestige to create a social aristocracy in the city; an invitation to one of her parties was a coveted mark of social acceptance, and exclusion meant social banishment. Mrs. Astor's story, which reads like a novel by Edith Wharton, sheds important new light on the origins, extravagant lifestyle, and social competitiveness of this aristocracy, and it is told here with vigor and elegance by Eric Homberger." "Homberger argues that the arrival in New York of a tidal wave of new wealth after the Civil War pushed the city's old families into a redefinition of the practices and responsibilities of aristocracy. The public wanted to know more about the neighborhoods, clothes, marriages, entertainments, scandals, and divorces of the wealthy, so during the 1880s, Mrs. Astor presided over a revolution in their social visibility. With Ward McAllister she created the Patriarchs, whose annual balls were the most sought after social events of the era. She also established the "Four Hundred," the definitive list of the socially acceptable, ordaining which families could be accepted and which must remain in social exclusion. Homberger describes the festivities of this social elite, their homes and neighborhoods, and their social struggles. His diverting account of lives of discreet and not-so-discreet excess vividly recaptures New York's high society and shows how its members were transformed into America's first celebrities."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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PUBLICATION DATE:
PAGES: 344
CATEGORY: History, Social Science
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