Capital Elites: High Society in Washington, D.C. After the Civil War
In this social history of the nation's capital, Kathryn Allamong Jacob portrays the fancy dress balls, glittering embassy parties, and popular ... Show synopsis In this social history of the nation's capital, Kathryn Allamong Jacob portrays the fancy dress balls, glittering embassy parties, and popular scandal that characterized Washington's high society during the Gilded Age. Jacob argues that the capital's social elite has always been unique because its fortunes - unlike those of aristocrats who ruled other American cities - are tied inextricably to the ubiquitous presence of the federal government. Jacob shows how the Civil War affected Washington like no other city, vanquishing the hereditary elite - the Antiques - and opening the gates to new millionaires - the Parvenues - who shaped the postwar society of the capital as they shifted its center from Lafayette Square to Dupont Circle. With plentiful detail about selfish First Ladies, bitter bluebloods, greedy lobbyists, and cabinet ministers who accepted bribes to support their families' social ambitions, Capital Elites describes the magnetic attraction of political power and the ways in which moneyed society affected the conduct of government during the Gilded Age.