James Hazen Hyde’s story takes place in the American Gilded Age, the period between the late 1800s and World War I when great fortunes were made and the newly rich delighted in displaying their wealth. James was in his early twenties when his father died, leaving him control of the majority shares in The Equitable Life Assurance Society.
Even in the midst of Gilded Age splendor, James Hyde stood out as an example of excessive glamour. In 1905, when he held the “Hyde Ball,” one of the most glamorous events of the era, the party exposed him to false accusations of having used Equitable money to pay for the event. His enemies were some of the most famous industrialists and financiers of the era, each of which wanted control over the Equitable’s substantial investment funds. James’s story was covered in newspapers nationwide, as Americans from big cities to small towns followed the lives of the newly famous.
A mother lode of stories about the bad behavior of people with bathtubs full of money…brightly written. —Wall Street Journal
After the Ball travels effortlessly from James Hyde’s time to our own…A colorful new book. —New York Times
Wonderfully foreboding…exactly on pitch…a textured and compelling tragedy. —USA Today
A sweeping, brilliant, piece of social history…Movie producers should pounce on this one. —Dallas Morning News.