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Philistines at the Hedgerow:
The Hamptons, that famous string of beachside hamlets in New York State, are not just a quiet vacation spot for New England blue bloods like the duPonts and Vanderbilts. According to Steven Gaines, the author of a spate of "untold" and "true" biographies of such glitterati as Calvin Klein, they're also--surprise!--a sandbox of scandal.
And who exactly has been stirring things up? Gaines centers the book on an eccentric cast of characters in Hamptons history: semicloseted gay men of fabulous wealth and Ralph Lauren taste, half-cracked Mayflower descendants going to seed, and those "Philistines," the nouveau riche, blemishing the scenery with their terrible taste. "The establishment can hold off the newcomers for only so long," explains the author. "There are always more of Them than Us."
Heavily researched, the book is painstakingly detailed and unapologetically voyeuristic, full of "nine-ounce chilled Baccarat crystal stem glasses," "Chippendale sofas upholstered in Scalamandré silks," "Gucci loafers," and "fourteen-karat-gold wallpaper." It's a Champagne truffle: sinful, enticing, and pure froth at its center. --Maria Dolan [via]