Palm Beach, Mar-A-Lago, & the Rise of America’s Xanadu
Saturday, November 2, 7pm
Books & Books at Coral Gables
Join us for an evening with Les Standiford as he discusses his latest novel: Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America’s Xanadu.
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.
Les Standiford is the author of the bestselling 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 lives with his wife, Kimberly, in Florida.