The Perennial Philadelphians
The Anatomy of an American AristocracyUniversity of Pennsylvania Press Pennsylvania Paperbacks
640 Pages, 6.12 x 9.25 in, 26 illus.
- Published: October 1999
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The Perennial Philadelphians tells the story of the city's inherited aristocracy—of Wanamakers and Drexels, of Biddles and Cadwaladers. Drawing on history, genealogy, politics, economics, the fine arts, private diaries, and the impressions and anecdotes of myriad living witnesses, Nathaniel Burt paints a fascinating portrait of Old Philadelphians. He traces the succession of a dynasty of doctors or lawyers, explores the country club scene, and takes us to regattas on the Schuylkill, fox hunts in Radnor, and horse shows in Devon.
First published in 1963, this classic text has lost none of its timeliness. An adept social commentator, Burt cuts aside the centuries-old protective coloration in which Old Philadelphians have wrapped themselves, and reveals who these people are and how they manage to perpetuate themselves from generation to generation.