The Imperial Season

America's Capital in the Time of the First Ambassadors, 1893-1918

By William Seale
(Smithsonian Books (DC), Hardcover, 9781588343918, 265pp.)

Publication Date: November 12, 2013

List Price: $27.95*
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This story of the young city of Washington coming up in the international scene is populated with presidents, foreign diplomats, civil servants, architects, artists, and influential hosts and hostesses who were enamored of the idea of world power but had little idea of the responsibilities involved.
Between the Spanish American War and World War I, the thrill of America's new international role held the nation's capital in rapture. Visionaries gravitated to Washington and sought to make it the glorious equal to the great European capitals of the day. Remains of the period still define Washington--the monuments and great civic buildings on the Mall as well as the private mansions built on the avenues that now serve as embassies.
The first surge of America's world power led to profound changes in diplomacy, and a vibrant official life in Washington, DC, naturally followed. In the twenty-five year period that William Seale terms the "imperial season," a host of characters molded the city in the image of a great world capital. Some of the characters are well known, from presidents to John Hay and Uncle Joe Cannon, and some relatively unknown, from diplomat Alvey Adee to hostess Minnie Townsend and feminist Inez Milholland. "The Imperial Season "is a unique social history that defines a little explored period of American history that left an indelible mark on our nation's capital.

About the Author
Noted historian William Seale has studied and published on the White House for many years. In addition to The Night They Burned the White House, he published the two-volume The President s House; The White House: History of an American Idea; and The White House Garden. He is actively involved in the preservation and restoration of historic buildings and is editor of White House History, the award-winning journal of the White House Historical Association.
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