four stars at amazon. An interesting book, even if not quite as horrifyingly fascinating as Phlistines in the Hedgerows. Both books are about how the pinnacle of the upper crust lives.
From The New Yorker
The Manhattan cooperative apartment is, according to Gaines's sportive look at New York City's residential real-estate market, "the ultimate exclusionary tool in American housing." This was not always so. In 1879, Philip Hubert, a former French teacher who became an inventor and architect, proposed giving the city's millions of tenement dwellers partial ownership of their homes as a program of uplift: "fireproof buildings in lower class areas for the lower class." Once Hubert's "home-club plan" caught on, it wasn't long before high-end speculators got in on the action. Now, to be considered for some venerable buildings, an applicant must submit three months' worth of cancelled checks, forgo a mortgage, and-in one memorable case-pretend to have a cold in order to mask a Bronx accent.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
Better than his book about the Hamptons. Very interesting.