THE WASHINGTON CENTURY: Three Families and the Shaping of the Nation's Capital

Burt Solomon, Author . Morrow $26.95 (498p) ISBN 978-0-06-621372-9

Now a world capital, Washington, D.C., began the 20th century as the "unhurried" capital of a country that had not yet found its place in the world. Solomon, a contributing editor to the National Journal , traces the remarkable evolution of the city through the lives of three insider families whose rise paralleled that of the capital. Washington's foremost industry, government, is represented by the politically potent Boggses, whose patriarch, Hale, began his congressional career in 1941, and whose offspring include journalist Cokie Roberts and influential lobbyist Tommy Boggs. The role of African-Americans in the D.C. establishment is personified by civil rights activist Julius Hobson and his family. The clan of Morris Cafritz, Jewish immigrant turned real estate magnate, and his socialite wife, Gwen, opens the world of Washington's elite social scene. Presidents, politicians, social activists from Stokely Carmichael to Jesse Jackson and other personalities, from J. Edgar Hoover to political columnist Joseph Alsop, move through these pages with dizzying frequency. World events pass by with an equally vertiginous effect, serving as backdrop for the successes and failures of various Boggses, Hobsons and Cafritzes. For the most part, Solomon (Where They Ain't ) is generous to his subjects. And though the tale occasionally bogs down in family melodrama, it maintains a generally lively pace. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW . Agent, Gail Ross. (On sale Nov. 9)

Reviewed on: 09/27/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Ebook - 528 pages - 978-0-06-201374-3
Paperback - 498 pages - 978-0-06-093785-0
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