Picks and Pans Review: Philistines at the Hedgerow

updated 07/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Passion and Property in the Hamptons
by Steven Gaines

Beach book of the week

Think of the most awful people you know. Now, think of them with unlimited wealth and lots of time on their hands. Multiply the result by several thousand, cram them all into a small area on the eastern Long Island shore, and you'll have the world of privilege, social climbing and serious bad taste that Gaines gleefully chronicles. The Hamptons used to be sleepy villages nestled amid some of the best potato farms in the United States. Then, about a century ago, the super-wealthy discovered them—and the neighborhood has been going to hell ever since, as wave after wave of New Money washes up to do battle with Old Money. When billionaire Revlon boss Ron Perelman bought himself a little waterfront property for about $12.5 million in 1993, he gave the seller two weeks to get out of the house. (Little, Brown, $26.95)

Bottom Line: Richly entertaining

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