A Voice from Old New York

We enjoyed Keysean Johnson’s Just Give Me The Damn Ball so much, it was time for another biography. This one of the auto- nature. The voice here is that of Louis Auchincloss, a member of Manhattan’s recognized “Society,” who grew up directly with the descendants of Gilded Age barons. Auchincloss went on to carve out a successful duel career as an estate attorney and writer. As always, whether this is a fascinating or dull read depends on the reader.

The more thoughtful will be pleased with the insights into long elapsed manners, class-driven interpersonal relations, views on wealth, even a few unique WWII stories. Does the name dropping of the no longer important (or living) persons get a bit droll? Sure. Can there be too much dry wit? Maybe. Either way, this is a valuable peak into the lives of the New York set of the 1930s. It is worth noting that Louis Auchincloss wrote this book when he was in his nineties. That these tracts still remain in his aged memory is astonishing, and his command of the written word is even better. We will have to read one of his dry novels one day.

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