King of the Lobby: The Life and Times of Sam Ward, Man-About-Washington in the Gilded Age

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JHU Press, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 212 pages
3 Reviews

King of the Lobby tells the story of how one man harnessed delicious food, fine wine, and good conversation to the task of becoming the most influential lobbyist of the Gilded Age.

Sam Ward was a colorful character. Scion of an old and honorable family, best friend of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and charming man-about-Washington, Ward held his own in an era crowded with larger-than-life personalities. Living by the motto that the shortest route between a pending bill and a congressmanís "aye" was through his stomach, Ward elegantly entertained political elites in return for their votes.

At a time when waves of scandal washed over Washington, the popular press railed against the wickedness of the lobby, and self-righteous politicians predicted that special interests would cause the downfall of democratic government, Sam Ward still reigned supreme. By the early 1870s, he had earned the title "King of the Lobby" and jokingly referred to himself as "Rex Vestiari." Ward cultivated a style of lobbying that survives today in the form of expensive golf outings, extravagant dinners, and luxurious vacations.

Kathryn Allamong Jacob's engaging account shows how the "king" earned his crown through cookery and conversation and how this son of wealth and privilege helped to create a questionable profession in a city that then, as now, rested on power and influence.

  

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User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

Brother of Julia Ward Howe, friend of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oscar Wilde, and James A. Garfield, in-law of the Astors ... Sam Ward was quite a character, and Kathryn Allamong Jacob tells the ... Read full review

Review: King of the Lobby: The Life and Times of Sam Ward, Man-About-Washington in the Gilded Age

User Review  - Joseph Serwach - Goodreads

Great read on Sam Ward, the ``King of the Lobby'' who perfected and set the standard for good lobbying and advocacy in the 19th century. As Emily Biggs wrote at the time, "The last time Sam War was ... Read full review

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
ii
CHAPTER ONE
7
CHAPTER TWO
29
CHAPTER THREE
48
CHAPTER FOUR
67
Illustrations follow page
90
CHAPTER FIVE
91
CHAPTER SIX
118
CHAPTER SEVEN
137
EPILOGUE
155
Acknowledgments
167
Notes
171
Essay on Sources
197
Index
205
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Kathryn Allamong Jacob is curator of manuscripts at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. She is the author of Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington, D.C., also published by Johns Hopkins, and Capital Elites: High Society in Washington, D.C., after the Civil War.

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