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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Caroline De Margerie Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The fascinating story of Susan Mary Alsop, one of the grand dames of Georgetown society and a true Washington insider

American aristocrat—and a descendant of founding father John Jay—Susan Mary Alsop (1918–2004) with her husband, Joe Alsop, brought together the movers and shakers of not just the United States, but the world. Henry Kissinger remarked that more agreements were concluded in her living room than in the White House.

Born in Rome and brought up in Argentina and the United States, Susan Mary arrived in Paris in 1945 to join her first husband, Bill Patten. There she witnessed “history on the boil” at dinners with Winston Churchill, Duff Cooper (the British ambassador and the love of her life), FDR, Greta Garbo, and many others. A year after Bill’s death in 1960, she married the renowned journalist and legendary power broker Joe Alsop. Dubbed “the second lady of Camelot,” Susan Mary hosted dinner parties that were the epitome of political power and social arrival. She reigned over Georgetown society for four decades; her house was the gathering place for everyone of importance, including John F. Kennedy, Katharine Graham, and Robert McNamara.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The history of postwar Europe and America told through the prism of power and privilege. A most enjoyable book about a most elegant lady.”

    Jane Stanton Hitchcock

  • “Marvelous…Reveals the influence and insight of the American hostess, who lived so elegantly in the public eye, and so passionately when no one was watching.”

    New York Times

  • “The first-ever biography of the Georgetown doyenne, charts her life from Paris—where she charmed Winston Churchill and was a favorite of Christian Dior—to Washington DC, where she threw some of the best parties of the Camelot era.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Caroline de Margerie avoids hagiography, instead depicting a fabulously interesting, complicated and influential woman.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “This is not just an exquisitely perceptive portrait of a remarkable woman, it is a beautifully painted conversation piece including many of the great figures from a privileged age of elegance and intelligence.”

    Antony Beevor, bestselling author of The Second World War

  • “An engrossing, perceptive, and nuanced portrait of a celebrated socialite who once knew everyone worth knowing.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Thin, fashionable, well informed, yet a little wicked, Susan Mary had what it took to be talked about, and the Alsops’ gatherings were the talk of Georgetown’s “glory years.” Paris-based author de Margerie paints in bold, bright outlines the compelling story of this Jamesian heroine. Entertaining story of a dynamic literary woman who sparked a fascinating life from the changing currents of the age.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Caroline de Margerie has worked as a diplomat and is now a member of the Conseil d’État, the highest administrative court in France. Her first book was a biography of Edmond Rostand. She lives in Paris.