Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball


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It was such an interesting and pivotal time period and the party couldn't have happened, successfully, at least, during any other time in that decade or even in that century. Exploring that aspect of the party would have made it a five-star book instead of four. Of course Capote himself would soon burn bridges that would make it impossible for him personally to ever throw a party such as that again and, although Davis doesn't address this point either, Capote was probably the only person in the world at the time with the means, the desire and, more importantly, the social connections to pull off a party with such an impressive guest list of socialites.

Oct 07, Lynn Bensinger rated it it was amazing. Perhaps it is just me, but I loved this book and found it to be fascinating. I developed an interest in Truman Capote after seeing the film "Capote". I am also a huge fan of Harper Lee and found out about Truman's relationship to her and the famous group of woment he called his "Swans".

Truman Capote was a complicated man, small in stature yet huge in EGO. He was a master manipulator on one hand and a very lonely, insecure man on the other.

He was in to using people to his own benefit, whether t Perhaps it is just me, but I loved this book and found it to be fascinating. He was in to using people to his own benefit, whether they be his friends or enemies. Some went from being friends to being enemies when they caught on to him. The party that is central to the book takes one back to a time of opulence, glitz and glamor in Manhattan and the Plaza Hotel during it's heyday. For me it was a fun read and a book I will re-read when I find it in my stacks. I bought the thing Jul 12, Roxy rated it really liked it.

But I enjoyed the build-up to the party, and the social history was very well told.

Party of the century : the fabulous story of Truman Capote and his black and white ball

It is a fun book to read, and I only wished for more photos. View 2 comments. Jan 02, Lee Anne rated it liked it. The first third of this book is more of a light biography of Capote, interspersed with un-numbered chapters, each of which highlights one of Capote's "swans," the socialites he considered his closest friends at the time--Babe Paley, C. Guest, etc. Once the party talk kicks in, though, this book goes way too fast. I wanted more! This really needed to be a coffee table book, because I wanted to see as many of the dresses and masks as possible and preferably in color.

It's easy enough to find s The first third of this book is more of a light biography of Capote, interspersed with un-numbered chapters, each of which highlights one of Capote's "swans," the socialites he considered his closest friends at the time--Babe Paley, C. It's easy enough to find some online, but again, I wanted more. This is a frothy, entertaining book about a very different time, pre the celebrity culture that has all but ruined "society" these days for good or ill? One criticism: aren't spelling errors supposed to be fixed in the transition from HC to TP?

I found a few, Arlene Francis' name, and Coshocton, Ohio to name two. View 1 comment. Feb 10, Stacy rated it really liked it. From the highly-anticipated and selective invitation list to the over-the-top designer masks, this book accurately depicts Capote as a manipulative and shameless self-promoter.

But his celebrity status seemed to allow much tolerance, and even forgiveness, by those who wanted to be a part of his glitz and glamor world. Party of the Century is a fun read for those who enjoy celebrity biography or find intrigue by the antics of NYC high-society. Dec 29, Greg Thorpe rated it really liked it. I curled up with this book every night during a cosy, wholesome, suburban, family Christmas and it was the perfect accompaniment, being the literal opposite of all of these things.

Capote approached the staging of his Black and White ball at the Plaza Hotel with a deal more care than some of his books in the following years. The ball was designed to maximise his celebrity around the publication of In Cold Blood, his best, most successful, and least Capote-like work. It was a complete succes I curled up with this book every night during a cosy, wholesome, suburban, family Christmas and it was the perfect accompaniment, being the literal opposite of all of these things.

It was a complete success but marked a turning point, for him, his career, the 60s, and New York society. Capote was never the Greenwich Village type writer, his sights were affixed on the upper echelons where success was distinctly measurable and artistic integrity was neither here nor there if one had a place to stay in the Hamptons. This book is sumptuous in its observations and obsessive in its detail it includes original contemporary illustrations and the full list of ball attendees and only the actual Christmas time going on around me could compete with it in terms of content and fizz.

Aug 17, Allison Sesame rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction.

Black and White Ball

An interesting piece of work-related research. May 19, Scott rated it it was amazing. The ball which was supposed to honor Katharine Graham, president of the Washington Post, was nothing more than thinly veiled attempt by Truman Capote to promote himself and the success of In Cold Blood. Feb 14, Debbie rated it liked it. Truman was an aspiring socialite. Through his literary success, he was able to meet and cultivate friendships with people of many different backgrounds.

However, his major friendships were with society's wealthiest women. He was a gay man and an excellent conversationalist. He loved gathering and sharing his friends' secrets which lead to his ultimate downfall in the years following the ball. Truman's Black and White Ball marked the end of era as in social standards were changing. Who's Who's and included in prominent social gatherings was changing. Because of Truman's many and diverse friendships, the ball included the traditional old wealth socialites, the literary community, Hollywood, royalty, and the young rising socialites and celebrities.

The invitations were most sought after, and Truman a master marketeer and self-promoter leveraged all he had for the Party of Century. Nov 13, Randy Mcdonald rated it really liked it Shelves: cultural-studies , history. Davis goes into considerable and enlightening detail on the structure of New York and international high society in the mids, describing how the new electronic news media and inexpensive transportation combined with Capote's connections and talent for publicity to make his ball become a news story worldwide.

Davis' flavourful telling seems to confirm that Capote's magic only went so far. Nov 14, Ray rated it really liked it Shelves: fashion , biography. Having my obsession right now with Truman and his gang. This book jumped at me and was everything I wanted to see and hear about. Full of "gossipy" bits about the period and characters you couldn't make up, it shows a different time.

On one hand the glamor of the 60's is represented beautifully, with the "aristocrats" of the day vying for a place at the party, while on the other hand there is s sense of disgust as the war raged on in Vietnam. This is Truman at the moment of his success before th Having my obsession right now with Truman and his gang. This is Truman at the moment of his success before the heavy drug use and alcohol poisoning. This is an author that changed the shape of authors, it is the end of an era.

Even Bergdorf Goodman closed up its dress making floor after this.


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An easy read, with a gimps into a world that burned brightly for a moment, so brightly it destroyed so much of what it celebrated Apr 29, Beth Newman rated it really liked it. Who doesn't love a good party? As a fan of Capote's work, as well as a fan of parties, I found this to be a fun read. Not only do we as readers get a glimpse of the actual party itself - from the planning stages to the reviews following it, we get a glimpse into a world that no longer exists. I enjoyed particularly learning about Capote's 'Swans', the socialites with whom he befriended.

I'd heard many of their names before, but never really got who some of them were and how they factored into so Who doesn't love a good party? I'd heard many of their names before, but never really got who some of them were and how they factored into society. This cleared it all up for me. The recipe for Plaza Chicken Hash is a nice addition, too. A great book for anyone who pines for a more glamorous era. Dec 27, Mark Gaulding rated it really liked it. A dishy account of arguably last century best ball.

Truman Capote is a fascinating character and a wonderful writer. This book captures a very window in time when he was at his zenith of power socially, artistically.

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Beside Jackie Kennedy, nobody who was anybody was missing at this party. Aug 08, Margie rated it liked it Shelves: kay-graham. Somehow I expected more pictures and less text. It was interesting and dishy, but like Davis' other book, she's using a lot of other peoples' material and stretching it out into a book.

There's less about Kay Graham than I expected, too. It's mostly about Capote. Picked this one up thanks to Melanie Benjamin's awesome fictionalized version of these events! Very fun read. Nov 22, Mary rated it it was amazing Shelves: american-history , non-fiction , cultural-history , biography , oral-history. What a rich trove of information this book is, and all about one event on one particular day!

Even though I wasn't alive when this party happened, I've read mentions of it in several places over the years. The ball marked the very peak of his dazzling literary career and the beginning of the literary downfall from which he never recovered. I knew Truman, and I was riveted by Davis's book. Grenvilles and An Inconvenient Woman" "Deborah Davis captures a crystal moment in time with all the elegance and irony it deserves.

A black and white truffle of a book--delicious. It was a moment in time and Davis captures the excitement in delicious detail. I loved this book. Immersing oneself in these pages is the next best thing to being there. Flush with the massive bestsellerdom of In Cold Blood, which earned him millions, Capote decided to throw an extraordinary masked ball--partly in honor of his friend the Washington Post president Katharine Graham and partly to celebrate his own success at the end of the grueling process of writing the book--at New York's legendary Plaza Hotel.

The invitees were to wear just two colors: black and white. For several months, the most sought-after piece of paper in New York and jet-setting society was the tasteful white card bearing the words "Mr. Truman Capote requests the pleasure of your company at a Black and White Dance. Capote boasted that he invited five hundred friends but made fifteen thousand enemies--those who weren't invited. Buckley, and various international crowned heads, Kennedys, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys. Truman made sure to invite his carefully cultivated society friends, the flock of wealthy, elegant, ultra-fashionable society matrons whom Capote called his "swans" and who included Babe Paley, C.

Wanting to keep the party mix interesting and unpredictable, Capote also invited people from the town where the murders from In Cold Blood occurred, publishing types, and even the doorman from the U. Plaza, his apartment building.

Truman Capote’s Grandest Affair: Inside the Black-and-White Ball | Vanity Fair

In this vivid and delightful narrative, Deborah Davis chronicles all the social whirl of the preparation and the anticipation leading up to the party, including delicious facts such as where the guests bought their gowns and diamonds, how they chose their masks designed by the likes of Adolfo and Halston, and where they dined before the party. Then, in fascinating detail, Davis captures the drama and excitement of the ball itself. Unlike many such ballyhooed events, this evening truly lived up to its fanfare: Alice Roosevelt Longworth told the New York Times that the party was "the most exquisite of spectator sports.

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Truman Capote - American Novelist - Mini Bio - BIO

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Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball
Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball
Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball
Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball
Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball
Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball
Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball
Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball

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