It’s no secret that the rich are different from the rest of us. But the rich, as author Stephen Birmingham so insightfully points out, are also different from the very rich. There’s Society, and then there’s Real Society, and it takes multiple generations for families of the former to become entrenched in the latter. Real Society is not about the money—or rather, it’s not only about the money—it is about history, breeding, tradition, and most of all, the name.
The Right People is an engrossing and illuminating journey through the customs and habits of the phenomenally wealthy, from the San Francisco elite to the upper crust of New York’s Westchester County. It is a marvelously anecdotal, intimately detailed overview of the lives of the American aristocracy: where they gather and dine; their games and sports, clubs and parties, friendships and feuds; their mating, marriage, and divorce rituals—a potpourri of priceless true stories featuring the Astors, Goulds, Vanderbilts, Dukes, Biddles, and other lofty names from the pages of the Social Register.
Stephen Birmingham is a preeminent social historian, known for his books The Right People, Real Lace, and The Grandees. He allows his reader unparalleled access to the most exclusive society sets, and tells their stories with great warmth and wit.