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Cafe Society: Socialites, Patrons, and Artists 1920-1960 Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Flammarion; FLAMMARION edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2080301578
  • ISBN-13: 978-2080301574
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 9.8 x 12.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thierry Coudert contributed to the catalog for the exhibition Cartier 1899-1949: The Journey of a Style, staged at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2007. A close friend of Alexis de Redé, he has a deep and abiding interest in the artistic and cosmopolitan world of the café society, and over the last ten years has assembled an important collection of archive documents on the subject.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on January 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The cover featuring Barbara Hutton is merely a prelude to the visual treats and text that awaits.

The photography is terrific and is generously featured throughout the pages. The range of subjects are also broad.

There's something delicious about society's beautiful people remaining elusive, especially in this vulgar, new age of social media and reality television.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Judy D on January 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book because it absolutely captures a very short time in our cultural history. We may see these people as silly& rich, but they were important. Cultures have, until quite recently, always supported their artists or craftman through moneies given by the elite (if I may!). Cafe Society is a rich culturally historic time. It is a very fun book for all the right reasons- money, sex,no money, no sex. If you have any interest in cultural history- the kind of history that puts a fun and rauchous neighborhood in your minds eye- buy this book. It is great.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By WorldOyster on March 29, 2011
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Great photos of a time and people that just don't exist anymore. Such a glamorous time to have lived. Fun read as well with tons of juicy gossip.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By CulturalHistoryProf on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The by-gone era of true cafe society is presented via photographs and scrapbook reproductions. It is a fabulous book suitable for coffee table status, but also for pure enjoyment. An accurate history of persons, places and events which make the time period of 1920-1960 a most nostalgic one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Arch Stanton on July 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An amazing book that horoughly covers the fading of the last Great Age of European wealth, before the jet set turned vulgar and consumerist and were still concerned with making taste and fashion. I'm not familiar with the high society of France and Italy but it seems as though about every scion and social climber and gay gigolo from the middle of the last century is represented somewhere in this book. And they are wickedly self-interested and snobby. . .

Here is a typical passage from the book. . .

"Idiosyncratic and cruel, Evelyn detested her son. On one occasion, when the governess asked which of her children should accompany her on her walk, she responded, `what does it matter? Whichever one goes best with my dress!"

One aristocratic fortune after another gets squandered on successions of husbands of decreasing pedigree, one playboy after another dies in a fiery sportscar wreck. Life is an endless procession of balls and parties where entry is gained by either money or mordant wit and exclusion is a spectator sport. Nobody can see the beauty fading all around them as global wealth begins to transfer across the Atlantic to America. It all seems like sad dissipation but amidst all this it starts to seem like dissipation was actually the noble goal, done on the grandest scale possible. As the authors say, "every age of brilliance must eventually tarnish and decline," leaving little doubt on their opinion of cafe society.

Very entertaining!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas C. Broster on August 20, 2011
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a very interesting book with excellent photographs and a myriad of interesting facts about Paris and its denizens at that timw in history
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Sometimes it can be a little annoying going over to peoples houses and seeing coffee table books that You Know are just there for show.This book may be written about a showy pretentious culture ; but I love having this book on my coffee table because it actually gets picked up and read.I want my home to be welcoming and enjoyable,I like leaving this book out for guests.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By original grin on January 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I felt like a voyeur with my nose pressed to the glass. I enjoyed all the photos and descriptions of a time and society now gone.
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