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The Grandes Dames

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  42 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Astor. Rockefeller. McCormick. Belmont. All family names that still adorn buildings, streets and charity foundations. While the men blazed across America with their oil, industry, and railways, the matriarchs founded art museums, opera houses, and symphony houses that functioned almost as private clubs. These women ruled American society with a style and impact that make t ...more
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published December 31st 1982 by Simon & Schuster
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Margaret Higgins
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
fun gossipy read. i only knew two of the ladies. the premise was good, but a i would have preferred less ladies but more in depth about each one. i always feel with birmingham that he is dishes with at a cocktail party
Bethany Claus Widick
Fun to read, but sloppily researched -- found a number of mistakes in his pages about Chicago.
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
After many years, I finally read this book that had belonged to my Mom. It didn’t really deserve more than a quickread. It was fun gossip; that is the only way to describe it. It tells the ‘story’ of several different ultra-wealthy women of the 19th and 20th century. This included women of the East Coast, New Orleans, and Edith Rockefeller McCormick, second daughter of John D., Sr., the founder of the fortune, who married Harold Fowler McCormick, son of Cyrus Hall McCormick, “Chicago’s ‘Reaper K ...more
Mary Jane
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very interesting! I did not recognize al of the names of the great women of society in the late 1800's and on up to WWII, but as I read on I did recognize the family names, their charities, or their buildings, museums, homes, businesses, etc.. Having grown up after this era, I remember names like Astor, McCormick, Rockefeller, but I loved learning about the back stories this book relates. These eight women were women of enormous wealth---reading about their social events in NY, ...more
Mar 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I think the review I read gave me a very different idea of what this book was about. It was still an interesting story, but just not what I expected. And parts of the book seemed slow to get through.

First of all, the book was about quite a few women I had not heard of before. Interestingly, I had heard of some of their husbands (August Belmont), parents (Rockefellers) or parents-in-law (Dodges and McCormicks). But I guess that isn't surprising since women in that era were generally viewed as jus
Jan 02, 2016 marked it as to-read
Christmas present from Mom & Dad
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