Books: Moneyed Magnificoes

THE BIG SPENDERS by Lucius Beebe. 404 pages. Doubleday. $6.95.

Diamond Jim Brady, the big, bluff New York Irishman whose stomach was as expansive as his manner, is enshrined in American folklore as one of the truly great spenders of the Gilded Nineties. He spangled himself with outsize diamonds, usually began a twelve-course meal with a gallon of orange juice, hosted lavish dinners where champagne corks were gathered up in laundry baskets. What is not so well known is that Brady was one of the founding fathers of expense-account entertaining. He shrewdly courted publicity because he felt that it was an asset...

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