ABOUT THIS BOOK
Completed in 1931, New York’s Waldorf-Astoria towers over Park Avenue as an international landmark and a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture. A symbol of elegance and luxury, the hotel has hosted countless movie stars, business tycoons, and world leaders over the past ninety years.
American Hotel takes us behind the glittering image to reveal the full extent of the Waldorf’s contribution toward shaping twentieth-century life and culture. Historian David Freeland examines the Waldorf from the opening of its first location in 1893 through its rise to a place of influence on the local, national, and international stage. Along the way, he explores how the hotel’s mission to provide hospitality to a diverse range of guests was put to the test by events such as Prohibition, the anticommunist Red Scare, and civil rights struggles.
Alongside famous guests like Frank Sinatra, Martin Luther King, Richard Nixon, and Eleanor Roosevelt, readers will meet the lesser-known men and women who made the Waldorf a leader in the hotel industry and a key setting for international events. American Hotel chronicles how institutions such as the Waldorf-Astoria played an essential role in New York’s growth as a world capital.