Author: Stephen Birmingham
Publisher: Harper & Row, 1967
Condition: Hardcover, plastic-covered, yellowed pages, annotations on first page, interior clean
They immigrated to America from Germany in the nineteenth century with names like Loeb, Sachs, Seligman, Lehman, Guggenheim, and Goldman. From tenements on the Lower East Side to Park Avenue mansions, this handful of Jewish families turned small businesses into imposing enterprises and amassed spectacular fortunes. But despite possessing breathtaking wealth that rivaled the Astors and Rockefellers, they were barred by the gentile establishment from the lofty realm of “the 400,” a register of New York’s most elite, because of their religion and humble backgrounds. In response, they created their own elite “100,” a privileged society as opulent and exclusive as the one that had refused them entry.
“Our Crowd” is the fascinating story of this rarefied society. Based on letters, documents, diary entries, and intimate personal remembrances of family lore by members of these most illustrious clans, it is an engrossing portrait of upper-class Jewish life over two centuries; a riveting story of the bankers, brokers, financiers, philanthropists, and business tycoons who started with nothing and turned their family names into American institutions.
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