Books: Buoyant Buccaneer

THE MAN WHO ROBBED THE ROBBER BARONS by Andy Logan. 260 pages. Norton $4.75.

"New York society," declared Colonel William d'Alton Mann, "is inhabited by jackasses, libertines and parvenus." Not that he minded. For one thing, they made sensational copy for his scurrilous, scandalous Town Topics. For another, the publicity-shy Four Hundred provided him with a lucrative sideline: Publisher Mann was the nation's most notorious blackmailer. He was also a Civil War hero, a talented inventor and a bon vivant. Nearly forgotten since his death in 1920, he re-emerges in this witty,...

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