Entertaining in Washington by Lucy Moorhead
Moorhead, Lucy. Entertaining in Washington. First American Edition. 1978. Book is in very good condition; dust jacket is in good plus condition—jacket shows moderate soiling, scuffing, and edge tears. Introduction by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
It is difficult to classify this delightful but unusual book. It is technically an entertaining guide, but it is too idiosyncratic to fit comfortably in that genre. Certainly there are clever entertaining tips. Yet, its lasting appeal is its value to social history. Lucy Moorhead, the wife of a congressman, was an A-List hostess in Washington, and her closest friends were conveniently the very people who should appear in this book, and they all do, including Pamela Harriman, Susan Mary Alsop, Katharine Graham, Joe Alsop, Evangeline Bruce, and Margaret Jay. They relate to Moorhead not as a reporter but as confidante. That chatty, informal style makes the reader feel as though he or she too has been invited to the party. Moreover, the book captures a particular time and place, our nation’s capital in the era when Elizabeth Taylor (then Mrs. John Warner) was a dilettante political hostess; Katharine Graham reigned supreme as both press baron and empress of society; and Pamela Harriman was just getting started as a force in American politics.
“Two dinner invitations are particularly highly prized in Washington. One is to the White House, the other to publisher of the Washington Post Katharine Graham’s house in Georgetown.”