Joseph Dalton

Parties for a Purpose: Hope Ridings Miller & the Golden Age of Washington Society by Joseph Dalton

There was a time in Washington when our leaders acted with dignity and mutual respect.  As a result, things got done.  Formal dinners and other high society events had something to do with that.  Politicians found it harder to attack each other by day when they were breaking bread together by night.

Reporting on the serious business of Washington parties through five administrations, from FDR’s New Deal to LBJ’s Great Society, was the journalist and author Hope Ridings Miller.  She arrived in DC at age 28, a small town girl with big ambitions.  Five years later she became Society Editor of the Washington Post.

Miller was welcomed as a guest at countless state dinners, embassy receptions and private affairs — gatherings where teacup talk could make or destroy careers.  Her columns were a must-read for Washingtonians who wanted to know what was really going on.

In the biography Parties for a Purpose: Hope Ridings Miller & the Golden Age of Washington Society readers are escorted into the Capital’s regal mansions and elegant salons.  Included are personal observations on the First Ladies; unpublished letters from the famed hostesses Evalyn Walsh McLean, Cissy Patterson and Perle Mesta; and intimate conversations between Miller and her fellow Texan and great patron Speaker Sam Rayburn.

Author Joseph Dalton is an award-winning journalist, also Miller’s younger cousin.  Before her death Helen Thomas contributed the Foreword.

Utilizing both charm and discretion, Hope Ridings Miller reigned over Washington society.  Parties for a Purpose tells how she did it.

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