Palm Beach, The Place, the People, Its Pleasures and Palaces, Signed to Aileen Mehle
[Signed Presentation to Aileen Mehle] Ney, John. Palm Beach, The Place, the People, Its Pleasures and Palaces. First Edition. 1966. Book and dust jacket are both in very good condition. Book is amusingly inscribed, “For Suzy, our Dostoevsky.”
It just as easy to be overly critical of Palm Beach as it is to be overly fawning. Most books fall into one category or the other. John Ney, an early 1960s transplant to the city, opted for a more nuanced approach. There are anecdotes about the rich and social families for which the resort is well known, but they are cleverly woven into a much more significant story. Why does one settle here? How does Palm Beach fit into a country founded upon the Protestant work ethic in which making money is valued higher than spending it? Cameos by all the boldfaced names one expects: C.Z. Guest, Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, Lilly Pulitzer, the Kennedys, et al.
“There may be no such thing as a typical Palm Beach person, but on the other hand, no one here is atypical. The common bond is money, whether earned, unearned, too much, nowhere near enough, tied fast in a trust fund, hopefully waited, grudgingly remitted, belonging to one’s mate, freshly found, or gone with the wind.”