View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Sun Feb 1st, 2009 03:52 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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I decided to take a little vacation from Civil War books and bought the brand new  Madness under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach by Laurence Leamer & Todd McLaren. The book sells for $16.49 plus S&H at

The book is one of those I can't put down mainly because it deals with the "stories behind the stories" of major Palm Beach, Florida scandals, most of which have taken place while I have lived in the area--NOT Palm Beach, but close enough that the stories make compelling reading for me.

What the book appears to teach again and again is that even the world's richest people have serious problems, anxieties, frustrations and humiliations. Some of thse end, eventually, in muder. And, yes, in Palm Beach you truly can never be too rich or too thin.

The author, who lives in Palm Beach explains much of what is expected of the super rich and what they expect of one another. The main focus of their lives during the winter "season" is an endless round of nightly charity parties and balls at which the women attempt to have the most exquisite gowns and the hostesses complete to have the utmost in party decor, menus, orchestras and a supremely elite guest list.

The book has especial currency because of the Bernard Madoff scandal. One of Madoff's homes, one worth over nine million dollars is in the heart of Palm Beach right beside the Intracoastal Waterway. Two days ago some "Trust fund kids" threw rolls and rolls of toilet paper all over the trees in his front yard. Word leaked out they did so because their parents had lost every cent in their heirs' trust funds, thanks to Madoff's outrageous Ponzi scheme.

 Madoff was a prominent member of the exclusive  Palm Beach Country Club member. He allegedly has cleaned out the bank accounts of so many of his closest friends at that very club.

Just being among the super wealthy of the world does not protect those lucky folks from being victims of the temptations caused by so much money. This book does a splendid job of giving the common man and outsiders such as myself a glimpse of that hidden life. I don't feel so envious of them anymore.



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