When the Astors Owned New York by Justin Kaplan is a 196-page softcover published in 2007 by the Penguin Group. There is a remainder mark on the bottom page edges. Inside, the pages are foxing and there is a mark of ownership from the previous owner to the front endpaper. Else, the pages are unmarked and the binding is tight.
Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, cousins John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor lived incomparably privileged lives in the blaze of public attention. For three decades around the turn of the nineteenth century, they vied for dominance of high society, creating the grandest hotels the world had ever seen--perfect fusion of excess and efficiency that became America's castles of capitalism. In this fascinating anecdotal history, Pulitzer Prize winner Justin Kaplan reacquaints us with the men whose palaces gave us the chafing dish, the velvet rope, and the standards of luxury and fashion that preoccupy us to this day.