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The dark side of the Gilded Age is revealed in this vivid new view of turn-of-the-century New York. Scholar of American culture M. H. Dunlop penetrates the psyche of New York City in the pivotal years made famous by Edith Wharton, the Vanderbilts, and the Rockefellers, unveiling an age that was not genteel and proper but dangerous and predatory.
Drawing on rare primary sources, Dunlop showcases the sensational and surreal events of the times -- from a wealthy society wedding where locals were trampled in their frenzy to watch, to the harrowing nine-hour execution of a zoo elephant diagnosed with sexual frustration, and more. Spiced with cameos of such characters as Stanford White, William Merritt Chase, the Midnight Band of Mercy, and exotic dancer Little Egypt, Gilded City brings to life a key era that saw the city rise to dominance in America.[via]