When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age

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Penguin, Jun 1, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
11 Reviews
In this marvelous anecdotal history, Justin Kaplan––Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Mark Twain––vividly brings to life a glittering, bygone age.

Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, cousins John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor vied for primacy in New York society, producing the grandest hotels ever seen in a marriage of ostentation and efficiency that transformed American social behavior.

Kaplan exposes it all in exquisite detail, taking readers from the 1890s to the Roaring Twenties in a combination of biography, history, architectural appreciation, and pure reading pleasure
 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pennsylady - LibraryThing

The family patriarch, John Jacob Astor, left the German village of Waldorf circa 1780 and started a fur-trading business in New York. He was the barely literate son of the village butcher. By the time ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pennsylady - LibraryThing

Blue bloods and grand hotels in a gilded age by Justin Kaplan 181pg hardcover ★ ★ ★ The family patriarch, John Jacob Astor, left the German village of Waldorf circa 1780 and started a fur-trading ... Read full review

Contents

ALSO BY JUSTIN KAPLAN
The House of Astor
Town Topics
Inventor and Novelist
Palaces for the People
A New Thing Under the Sun
After the Ball Was Over
Mine All Mine
Baron Astor of Hever Castle
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Justin Kaplan was an editor, biographer, and author of Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain and Walt Whitman: A Life, among other books. He was a member of the American Academy of  Arts and Letters. He died in 2014.

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