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Justin Kaplan was an editor, biographer, and author of Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain and Walt Whitman: A Life, among other books. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in 2014.
A gem of a book . . . No one since [Henry] James has written with such ease and grace about the era of excess as Kaplan. (Megan Marshall, author of The Peabody Sisters) Mr. Kaplan, a dazzling stylist, is perfectly suited to his subject: what Henry James lovingly called hotel civilization . . . [A] splendid book about a bygone age that has not quite gone away. (The New York Sun)