The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

May 28, 2016

May 28, 1929

Steven Birmingham's interest in social history is seen in his novels and class studies.

Some of his non-fiction titles are:

California Rich (1980) 
The Grandes Dames (1982)
The Rest of Us: The Rise of America's Eastern European Jews (1984)
The Ordeals—and Triumphs—of American Jews (1985)
America's Secret Aristocracy (1987)

But our attention now is on his 1979 book,  Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address. Therein he discusses a special community involving economic privilege and a cultural richness He tells stories like that of Dr. and Mrs. B. Scott Severns. She is the sister of architect Philip Johnson and from her apartment window she can see one of his buildings. Birmingham mentions her "collection of Siamese and Abyssinian cats." Without more detail.

Stephen Birmingham (May 28, 1929 to November 15, 2015) wrote many more titles. He fills a unique place in American cultural history in his ability to specify objectively gossipy details and make abstractions titillating.

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