Books: Condemned Playgrounds

THE LAST RESORTS (527 pp.)—Cleveland Amory—Harper ($5).

At the height of Newport's "Golden Age," one of the resort's hostesses gave a dinner for 50 at which the center of the table was piled with sand. Each of the guests found a small, sterling silver pail and shovel at his place. At a given signal everyone dug frantically for thousands of dollars' worth of rubies, sapphires and diamonds buried in the sandpile.

That was in turn-of-the-century days, when any millionaire looking for the shortest distance between the cash register and the social register usually made a beeline for such society resorts as Saratoga,...

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