When the Astors Owned New York by Justin Kaplan
Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age

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Synopsis

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
 
 

About Justin Kaplan

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Justin Kaplan won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his biography Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain. His Walt Whitman: A Life also won the National Book Award.
 
Published June 1, 2006 by Plume. 208 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History. Non-fiction

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Together, they created the original Waldorf=Astoria, which debuted in 1897 as the world’s most opulent hotel, but their fragile alliance soon shattered as the cousins engaged in a continuing struggle of competitive extravagance that produced such luxurious establishments as the Hotel Astor (Willi...

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USA Today

Written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain, this book focuses on two Astor cousins, John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor.

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BookPage

It seems that every famous person had some connection with the Astors or one of their hotels and John Jacob Astor IV became irretrievably tied to our country's history when he went down with the Titanic.

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