Little Gloria. . .Happy at Last

Not even Hollywood in its heyday could have dreamed up a melodrama so electrifying as the one that swirled around 10-year-old “Little Gloria” Vanderbilt in 1934 when she became the object of a scandalous custody battle between her beautiful but poor, and none too bright, mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, and her rich, powerful aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney whose own private life included several lovers and a pseudonymous novel about lesbianism. Taking the court case as her focal point, and documenting it every step of the way, Goldsmith has produced a book of fabulous readability. It is the psychological perception she brings to her story that grips so intensely, however. What she is chronicling is the whole passing parade of American and international high society at a time of tumultuous transition when the old guard was giving way to the new “café” society. And what a cast of characters she has?everything from royals (Thelma, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt’s twin, was mistress to the Prince of Wales), grande dames, a rigid Irish Catholic Tammany judge, and a “devoted,” hideously possessive nurse, to the terrified little girl, told her mother might kill her. Over it all loomed the aura of the Lindbergh kidnapping. Goldsmith probes the motives, the secrets, the hidden longings of them all credibly and compassionately in a book that will sell and sell and sell. This book has it all.

--Publishers Weekly

Selected Works

Best-selling author Barbara Goldsmith on the myth and reality behind the extraordinary "Madame Curie".
“Absorbing, sweeping ... richness of narrative ... complex morally nuanced portraits ... compelling narrative power ... fabulously rich.”
--The New York Times
“Fascinating . . . An engrossing tale of greed, incest, treachery, legal incompetence, corruption, wealth and weakness.”
“Prodigiously researched this book has vast range. Staggering, gripping, confounding, informative, it is extraordinary.”
--Time Magazine
“Brilliant, fascinating, chilling—a marvelously entertaining novel about the decadent world of the super rich and the New York art establishment.” --Peter Maas
Read Barbara Goldsmith's essay "You Know, I Could Write the Most Wonderful Book" from the September 30th, 1984 issue of The New York Times Book Review.
Barbara Goldsmith's Op-Ed article for the New York Times on the controversy of the removal of Larry Rivers "Legs" from Sag Harbor, Long Island.
"La Dolce Viva" by Barbara Goldsmith. New York Magazine, 1968.
TOM WOLFE'S recounting of the beginning of New York Magazine
"No longer are there immutable standards by which to judge ourselves. Image has overtaken reality." -- Barbara Goldsmith, The New York Times Magazine, 1983
Barbara Goldsmith's contribution to the book "Windows on Central Park: The Landscape Revealed" by Betsy Pinover Schiff
Barbara Goldsmith's contribution "An Ongoing Vision" to the monograph on Robert Wilson and The Watermill Center.
Barbara Goldsmith's article from The New Yorker entitled "Women on the Edge".
Pranay Gupte's article on Barbara Goldsmith for the New York Sun.
Read the interview with Barbara Goldsmith in the NYPL BookMark Magazine
"A Testament of Riches Shared" by Pamela Ryckman
Barbara Goldsmith's Blog on Barbie in the 21st Century
Barbara Goldsmith's Blog on the death of Casey Johnson
Barbara Goldsmith's blog from The Daily Beast on New York Public Library pensions
Barbara Goldsmith's blog from The Daily Beast on Ethics
Barbara Goldsmith writes on inherited wealth.