Real news traveled fast, even in the days before internet connections. During the New Deal and World War II, Washington elites turned to Hope Ridings Miller's column in the Washington Post to see what was really going on in town. Cocktail parties, embassy receptions and formal dinners were her beat as society editor. "I went as a guest," said Miller, "and hoped that they'd forget I was a reporter."
In Washington's Golden Age, Joseph Dalton chronicles the life of this pioneering woman journalist who covered the powerful vortex of politics, diplomacy, and society during a career that stretched from FDR to LBJ. After joining the Post staff, she was the only woman on the city desk. Later she had a nationally syndicated column. For ten years she edited Diplomat Magazine and then wrote three books about Washington life. Once a girl from a small town in Texas, Miller created a web of connections at the highest levels. In Washington's Golden Age, Dalton escorts readers inside the Capital's regal mansions, the hushed halls of Congress, and the Post's smoky and manly newsroom to rediscover an earlier era of gentility and discretion now relegated to the distant past.
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Joseph Dalton has been a general arts reporter and music critic for the Times Union in Albany, NY since 2002. Hope Ridings Miller is his first cousin twice removed.
"The best women reporters in Washington have always found unique ways to get their stories. This was especially true of society editor Hope Ridings Miller. Read about the rise of women in Journalism in this biography of a trailblazer." -- April Ryan, White House Correspondent-American Urban Radio Networks; CNN Analyst; author "At a time when people turned to newspaper society pages to find out what was really going on in the nation's capital, Hope Ridings Miller was there to tell them. In this meticulously researched book, Joseph Dalton traces his cousin's remarkable career as society editor for The Washington Post and observer of the power elite. Eleanor Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Mary Pickford, Walt Disney, Jacqueline Kennedy, Pat Nixon and even the Hope diamond all make appearances in Washington's Golden Age, but the real star is Miller, who not only documented a rarified world of high society and politics but lived it. Beyond the glittering social scenes, Dalton offers a glimpse of a time when women were just beginning to make their way in the newspaper business, when reporters and the people they covered were often allies, and when the rules of the game called for civility and manners - and sometimes even white gloves. The result is a book that will be appreciated by anyone who loves history, journalism or simply a good story." -- Kristin Gilger, Senior Associate Dean, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University "Joseph Dalton's Washington's Golden Age is a marvelous biography of the plugged-in reporter Hope Ridings Miller. The anecdotes told are dazzling and the research impressive. Highly recommended!" -- Douglas Brinkley, historian and author "From state dinners to cocktail parties, social gatherings took on an air of ease and informality during the FDR administration. As society editor for the Washington Post, Hope Ridings Miller covered it all, including Eleanor Roosevelt's historic press conferences. Dalton's accomplished and engaging biography offers readers a vivid portrait of Washington in times of war and peace and highlights the increasingly important contribution of women journalists." -- Will Swift, author of "The Roosevelts and the Royals" and "Dick & Pat: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage" "Hope Ridings Miller was a close confident of Sam Rayburn, the longest serving Speaker of the House in history. That's just one of the many connections to power and influence in Miller's remarkable life. Hers is a story that deserves telling and Joseph Dalton has done a fantastic job in describing the Washington that once was." -- Anthony Champagne, University of Dallas professor and author of "Congressman Sam Rayburn"