Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America’s Xanadu
with author Les Standiford
About the Program: The full and colorful history of the American resort town that redefined class, wealth, and celebrity, by Florida’s preeminent historian and best-selling author Les Standiford.
Book Summary: With the authority and narrative prose style that has gained Standiford’s work widespread acclaim, Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America’s Xanadu tells the history of this fabled landscape intertwined with the colorful lives of its famous protagonists. Flagler’s own marriages to Ida Alice Shourds and Mary Lily Kenan perhaps initiated the dramas to come. While sewing machine heir Paris Singer and architect Addison Mizner created the “Mediterranean look” of Palm Beach in the 1910s, inspiring the building of such modern day palaces as Eva and Ed Stotesbury’s “El Mirasol,” the centerpiece of Palm Beach became the fever dream of Marjorie Merriweather Post and her equally wealthy husband E. F. Hutton, for whom Ziegfeld Follies designer Joseph Urban built “Mar-a-Lago” in 1927. Marjorie “ruled” social Palm Beach through two other marriages and for years on her own until her death in 1973. The fate of her mansion threatened to tear apart the very fabric of the town until Donald Trump acquired it in 1985. Les Standiford brings alive a fabled place and the characters — the rich, famous and infamous alike — who have been drawn inexorably to it.
About the author:
Les Standiford is the author of the best-selling Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean, Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles, and Meet you in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America, among many other works of fiction and nonfiction. He is also the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lives with his wife in Florida.
There is no charge to attend.
Reservations are required.
The Florida Voices series offers you the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialog with celebrated Florida authors. Each program features a presentation by the author, a Q&A, and a book signing.
For more information please call (561) 655-2766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Voices is generously supported by the Fred J. Brotherton Endowment for Literature, established at The Four Arts by the Fred J. Brotherton Charitable Foundation. Fred Brotherton, who died in 2003, was for many years a Benefactor of The Four Arts and a strong supporter of its programs. Florida Voices, featuring the state that was Mr. Brotherton’s winter home, serves as a continuing memorial to this much-respected member of The Four Arts.