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Philistines at the Hedgerow: Passion and Property in the Hamptons Paperback – May 6, 1999
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The Hamptons, that famous string of beachside hamlets in New York State, are not just a quiet vacation spot for New England blue bloods like the duPonts and Vanderbilts. According to Steven Gaines, the author of a spate of "untold" and "true" biographies of such glitterati as Calvin Klein, they're also--surprise!--a sandbox of scandal.
And who exactly has been stirring things up? Gaines centers the book on an eccentric cast of characters in Hamptons history: semicloseted gay men of fabulous wealth and Ralph Lauren taste, half-cracked Mayflower descendants going to seed, and those "Philistines," the nouveau riche, blemishing the scenery with their terrible taste. "The establishment can hold off the newcomers for only so long," explains the author. "There are always more of Them than Us."
Heavily researched, the book is painstakingly detailed and unapologetically voyeuristic, full of "nine-ounce chilled Baccarat crystal stem glasses," "Chippendale sofas upholstered in Scalamandré silks," "Gucci loafers," and "fourteen-karat-gold wallpaper." It's a Champagne truffle: sinful, enticing, and pure froth at its center. --Maria Dolan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Even those who have never heard of Long Island's home to the super-rich and the celebrated (Calvin and Kelly Klein, Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, Alec Baldwin and wife Kim Basinger, to name only a few) will find page-turning entertainment in this social history of the Hamptons. In 1635, Lion Gardiner made a pact with Wyandanch, the great sachem of the Montauk, to keep the marauding Connecticut Pequots from infiltrating Long Island, and he received a sack of five Pequot heads to seal the agreement. From that time forward, the Hamptons have hosted a m?lange of old society and new money, often an uneasy blending. At the turn of the century, wealthy artists Albert and Adele Herter built the legendary Mediterranean villa, "The Creeks"; a caretaker poled Adele about Georgica Pond to visit friends in a gondola bought from poet Robert Browning. When operating costs depleted their fortune and Adele, without a laundress, discovered that it took an hour to iron her nightgown, she decided to sleep in her bloomers. In 1990, billionaire Ronald Perlman purchased The Creeks for the bargain price of $12.5 million. In the booming 1980s, to own property in the Hamptons was the signal that one had arrived; it was said that "if you have to work on Fridays in the summer or be back in the office on Monday morning, you're not successful enough to live there." Gaines (Obsession, a biography of Calvin Klein) depicts a fabulous cast of real-life characters, both high and low. More fun than most fiction, this is a terrific summerAor anytimeAread. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.