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Hardcover First Four Hundred : New York and the Gilded Age Book

ISBN: 0847822850

ISBN13: 9780847822850

First Four Hundred : New York and the Gilded Age

Period photographs complement an entertaining, anecdotal history of New York's elite society during the Gilded Age as it captures the activities and exploits of such luminaries as the Vanderbilts, Grants, Whitneys, and Morgans.

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Format: Hardcover

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Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Great intro to NYC in the Gilded Age!

For those of us who are not overly familiar with NYC in the Gilded Age, Jerry Patterson's book is a wonderful introduction. In the book, he covers noteworthy personalities such as Mr. Brown, the Grace Church warden, Ward McAllister, the writer of the list that included the first four hundred, and briefly gives an introduction to Caroline Astor, leader of NYC Society. Many customs, traditions, and amusements of this lavish era are described. Overall, the book is very engrossing and informative.

Ignores Alva Belmont's debasement of Caroline Astor's values

Caroline Astor, unlike Alva Belmont,was not a racist.Mrs Astor's values about race became the moral standard in New York and Newport high society until Alva Belmont reduced the standard. Belmont was the daughter of an Alabama cotton planter. "I was a natural dictator," Belmont wrote of herself. "I enjoyed nothing so much as tyrannizing over the little slave children on my father's cotton plantation." Patterson could have devoted a chapter to attutudes about race in the Gilded Age. This book is well written. I highly recommend this book.

The high and the low of the Gilded Age

The book misses the personality differences between Caroline Astor and Alva Belmont. Caroline Astor could likely be reincarnated in today's Queen Elizabeth II. Alva Belmont could likely be reincarnated in today's Leona Hemsley.

Great Reading!

This is a lovely and attractive book with wonderful pictures and even a listing of the complete "400." I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the Gilded Age in NYC. Also, you might want to join this yahoo group to discuss it further: [URL]
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