Described as "fascinating . . . gossipy . . . entertaining" ("Vanity Fair"), "Great Dames" offers vivid and intimate profiles of ten unforgettable heroines of the Greatest Generation--including Jacqueline Onassis, Clare Booth Luce, Pamela Harriman, Diana Trilling, and the author's own mother--whose achievements and personal style helped to shape ...Read MoreDescribed as "fascinating . . . gossipy . . . entertaining" ("Vanity Fair"), "Great Dames" offers vivid and intimate profiles of ten unforgettable heroines of the Greatest Generation--including Jacqueline Onassis, Clare Booth Luce, Pamela Harriman, Diana Trilling, and the author's own mother--whose achievements and personal style helped to shape the 20th century. Photos.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-02-07 An accomplished author (House of Dreams: The Bingham Family of Louisville) and a writer-at-large for Vanity Fair, Brenner gathers 10 skillfully drawn portraits of women "of a certain age," ranging from Jacqueline Onassis to her own mother, Thelma Brenner. Eight of the pieces were assigned by and originally ran in Vanity Fair or the New Yorker. Her subjects include Constance Baker Motley, the lawyer who argued Brown v. Board of Education; Luise Rainer, who won back-to-back Academy Awards for Best Actress in 1936 and 1937; Kay Thompson, creator of the Eloise books; Pamela Harriman, a U.S. ambassador to France and Democratic Party fund-raiser; Clare Boothe Luce, author and U.S. ambassador to Italy; intellectual and author Diana Trilling; Marietta Tree, a political hostess and society figure; and Kitty Carlisle Hart, actress and former head of the New York State Council on the Arts. Brenner lauds their courage in surviving such catastrophic events of the 20th century as the Great Depression and WWII, and admires their drive and ambition, which in that era meant marrying or having liaisons with men whose wealth or status could help them achieve their dreams. What these women have in common, Brenner argues, is an ability to maintain a public life, to guard the image they created no matter what suffering might have been borne in silence. They rose to fame in a gentler era than our own, Brenner believes; her tributes are invested with nostalgia for the gallantry her subjects displayed in what was essentially a man's world. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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