book cover for In Pursuit of Privilege

In Pursuit of Privilege

A History of New York City’s Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis

In 1888, there were 400 members of the New York aristocracy, stated Ward McAllister, an arbiter of Gilded Age society. Just a decade later, Cornelia Bradley-Martin’s costume ball included 800 professed aristocrats. Five years later, there were 25,000. In In Pursuit of Privilege, Clifton Hood, AB ’76, tells the story of this changing New York ­aristocracy and how it grew despite efforts to keep out newcomers.

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